Whilst fewer laptops are being found in clubs and taxis, the frequency with which we hear about computer systems being compromised and the subsequent damage caused by them is on the up.

High profile incidents span from industrial system compromises to the French Euromillions website being taken down by hackers.  But despite smaller businesses being a bigger target for computer hackers, you rarely hear about the more serious lower-profile compromises in the media.

How much protection you require depends upon the risk being managed.  Here are 7 things, to get you started, on how to be a SMARTIE with better technology security for your business.


Decent and Up-to-date Anti-virus Protection

You might think we are stating the obvious – however there are still a large number of computers accessing the Internet with little or no virus protection.  One wrong click and your computer can quickly and unknowingly become part of the zombie army.

The best virus protection for your computer, in our opinion, is Endpoint Security from ESET. And until the end of 2012 new business customers switching to ESET will receive 10% discount on their license.

To enquire about ESET Endpoint Security please click here or call us on 0845 004 3025.

Password Security

Most people use just three passwords for everything; accessing your email, posting stuff on Facebook, your Internet banking.

Use many passwords for the different websites that you access and avoid simple passwords that are easy to guess.  Passwords do not have to be complete gibberish though they should be complex.

In the near future we will write the article 7 things for a secure password, subscribe to our monthly newsletter and it will land in your inbox.

Password and encrypt your portable devices

If you store information on a USB memory stick, laptop or even your mobile phone – what would be the consequences of it being lost or stolen?

As a minimum you should have to enter a password or PIN before using your mobile device.  If you have information that is even slightly sensitive then get it encrypted, passwords can very easily be removed or broken.

Unified threat management / firewalling

A simple firewall on your network is like the bouncer on the door of a nightclub; it has a list of those types of electronic information allowed to enter (and leave) and enforces that list.

More complex firewalls can enforce a dress code or check pockets for ‘banned substances’ – why is your new sales person emailing customer information to his personal email address?

Human Resources

Protecting your business is more than investing thousands of pounds on security products. It is often better and more cost effective to manage the users, not the system.

Invest time into educating your work force into the importance of technology security; why security is important, basic steps they can do without effort to minimise their own risks.  Back it up with policy though take advice from a HR professional before you do.

Know where your data is stored – especially with Cloud systems

If you have an email address with Google, Hotmail or Yahoo then you are using a Cloud system and probably have done for some time.

If you’re using the Cloud and Internet services for storing and sharing information, do you know where your files are being stored?  For regulatory or compliance your business may need to know where your files are stored, but for peace of mind it’s absolutely essential.

Talk to your suppliers and start asking where your files are being stored and what security is in place to safeguard those files.  Don’t be blinded by science and if you don’t get a straight answer then it’s probably a good opportunity time to look for a new supplier.

Preventative Maintenance

In addition to helping your computer systems run for 20 per cent longer, regular maintenance of your computer systems that includes the installation of updates will ensure they remain protected from bugs and security flaws in your programs.

Updates from vendors like Adobe, Apple, Java et al should be installed and not just those from Microsoft.  This time last year it was reported that six in 10 Google Android phones were insecure.