In late October 2015, it was revealed that a cyber-attack on TalkTalk had potentially compromised the data of four million customers. Unfortunately, this is just one of several similar incidents that today’s businesses are struggling to cope with.
In fact, a recent Government report revealed that 90 per cent of large UK organisations experienced a data breach in 2015. Recovering from such an incident could cost in excess of £3 million, just to ensure that remaining data is kept safe. As a result, more and more businesses are revisiting their own security to ensure cyber-attacks are kept at bay. But what measures should you have in place? Here with some IT security advice is ProNetwork Solutions, an experienced support and consultancy firm.
Be prepared for every eventuality
Even if you manage to stay on top of the latest security threats, hackers will continue to develop new and novel ways to access your data. Therefore, you need to be prepared for every eventuality and have a process in place to deal with any security breach. Although most companies will want to avoid ploughing an untold amount of money into things like IT security, this is a somewhat necessary expense on account of what is at stake.
Encrypt all of your data
If your data comprises of confidential or sensitive information, such as the names, addresses or even bank and credit card details of customers, you must encrypt it to combat online security breaches. So, by the end point of encryption or where it is accessed, the data cannot be repurposed or reused in any way.
Ensure data is hosted in a secure environment
When it comes to hosting data, the organisation entrusted with this responsibility should provide assurances over the safety of your information. Not only for online security breaches, but also in terms of natural disasters such as power surges or burst pipes. Most businesses will constantly back-up their most important data in an off-site location, which is protected against disasters and theft.
Install firewalls and antivirus software
Having a firewall and some antivirus software in place goes without saying, but several companies think that a single solution for all IT activities, including desktop, web browsing and email, provides sufficient security. But this couldn’t be further from the truth, because if a hacker penetrates one system, they will have access to everything. So, it makes sense to invest in multiple layers of protection for your IT infrastructure.
Educate your staff about security
Irrespective of the measures you have in place, a security breach could be the result of human error. Therefore, you should educate all members of staff about how to look after company data and what to do in the event of an online attack. Although high-profile incidents like the one at TalkTalk will make employees more aware of online security, you should still establish some sort of training to cover the potential issues that things like passwords, unsecured networks, and personal devices can cause.
We hope that this IT security advice guides you in the right direction towards putting your IT infrastructure as far away from the grasping hands of the hackers as possible! If you need further help or advice then ProNetwork Solutions are well placed to assist you whether you are based in Northern Ireland or further afield.