Your business is your baby and you know you must protect it, but it’s not always easy to know exactly how to do that. In the ever-evolving world of cyber space, cyber security is a mine field. Here are four great tips to protect your small business from cyber attacks…
1. Don’t be an ostrich!
The most important factor in cyber security is recognising the threat. Burying your head in the sand and telling yourself cyber attacks will never befall little old you won’t work. Computer security is an issue for every individual so it is most certainly a problem for small businesses! It’s bad enough when attacks happen on personal computers, but when the threat is to your business it is potentially a lot more damaging. You can lose money, clients, and credibility, all in a single attack.
It doesn’t matter what business industry you are in or how many employees you have, you MUST make your cyber security a priority. This isn’t just for your sake, but for the sake of your clients – you hold their personal information in your systems, which means you have a responsibility to protect it, and them, as well as your own assets.
2. Educate yourself
The more you know about potential issues that could threaten your business, the better prepared you will be. Make sure you fully understand the risks and threats out there and have a system in place to handle them. Regularly reading tech blogs and articles is a great starting point but other things you might need include having one person dedicated to ensuring your security, a carefully calibrated security system on your computer, or you might outsource all your cyber security concerns to a professional. It doesn’t matter how you choose to handle it, just make sure you know what’s out there and get someone on it!
3. Preparation, preparation, preparation!
Cyber security is something you should ideally prioritise before you start trading. If you’re planning on launching a new business, make sure you have ample backup systems in place, the best anti-virus system you can get, and take care to use encryption software for the protection of sensitive records.
Employee training is also vital, and ideally they should have all the security training they need before they start work. This will ensure they already know how to deal with issues, should they arise, and are fully capable of taking every precaution to avoid problems in the first place.
4. Be pro-active and vigilant
Computer security is an ongoing process. Software needs updating, protocols need reviewing, new threats arise and defences need to be added to ensure they can’t get through. The cyber world is incredibly fast-paced. You must remain pro-active in your security efforts and ever-vigilant.
Keeping on top of your cyber security is an essential task but it can be hard work if you’re not tech savvy. At Nimbus CS, we utilise cloud technology to offer the latest and best in tailor-made small business IT support. Contact us today to see how we can take the hassle of online and computer security off your shoulders.
System Lock by Yu. Samoilov licensed under Creative commons 4
Alongside all the usual shiny tech predictions for the new year (Internet of Things, more cloud adoption, smart shopping and smarter cars), one stands out as rather terrifying. A range of senior IT figures are pushing doom and gloom in the form of a major cyber war or outage this year, one that will damage Internet connectivity across the world.
Thing is, this sort of thing could actually happen, it doesn’t matter if this event is triggered by a rogue “state actor”, or state-sponsored hackers, or just happens by accident as a new obscure threat spirals out of control, the results could be catastrophic for businesses that are increasingly reliant on online services.
Hyperbole aside, now is exactly the time to ensure that your company’s IT support is ready and prepared to react to such an event. It would be wise to check with your IT team that their systems and servers are hardened and protected with the latest in cyber security and IT protection features. If they are unsure, getting experts in to test them is essential.
Most of all, companies need to be prepared to be flexible and resilient when it comes to dealing with a major outage. Redundancy in computer networks, communications suppliers, having access to disaster recovery systems and remote backups will all be essential when it comes to dealing with the fallout.
While smaller companies can usually manage their data through simple backups and enterprises must protect their data by law, many mid-size companies fall between these regimes and are ill-prepared to respond. We can provide support across Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK to these businesses, installing the latest in networking and protection systems and helping companies plan for the worst should it happen.
A backup plan should encourage businesses to think how they would operate with a widespread email outage, how they would access data and what information they need to provide to clients and customers. All of these considerations have an IT aspect that is often overlooked when any business suffers the five-minute or overnight outage.
In a future where it is possible that whole national Internet infrastructures could be affected, act now before your company finds itself unable to respond in such a crisis, risking losing customers, contracts and business to those that have made sufficient plans. Contact us at Nimbus CS today for more advice.
Touch by Hernan Piñera licensed under Creative commons 5
Whether you have a single office or multiple locations; whether all your stakeholders are on-site or you have satellite and remote workers; security is a vital consideration for your enterprise’s IT requirements. Unless you employ a security professional or outsource IT requirements, there are security benefits to utilising cloud-based services for your IT.
1. Patches and updates
Software needs to be regularly patched with the latest security updates. Any potential security holes are filled as they are found, and even if you delay the update of your software, you are leaving your company’s data open to attack. Cloud-based software is updated regularly and routinely. All of the latest patches are installed, and any potential IT security flaws are identified and fixed. You don’t need to rely on individual users to update their own PCs and you can continue to use cloud software as it is updated.
2. Physical security
Storing files and data on your own computers, or even on your own server, means that you need to carefully consider physical security. Storing data on the cloud means that the IT service you use will do this for you. Reputable companies like Nimbus ensure that all client data is not only digitally secure but also physically secure.
3. Automated remote backup
Automated backups help to ensure that computer crashes and data theft have minimal impact on a business. If a computer or server crashes, then if the data has been stored remotely, you will only lose data that has not been backed up. If you use cloud backups that run every day, then the most work you can lose at any time is a single day’s work. This is still a loss of data, but it is much better than losing a week or more’s work. With cloud backups, you can set a routine and regular backup that saves your data remotely to protect your data, your business, and your reputation.
4. Accessible and affordable security
Enterprise solutions like Microsoft Exchange Server may not be viable for smaller businesses. Buying a physical server, storing and updating it in your own premises, and having somebody manage that server costs money. By using a cloud service like Nimbus, you can enjoy all of the additional security and software features that this type of service offers, but without having to pay the same high costs.
Contact Nimbus today for affordable and scalable security that can benefit businesses of any size and type.
One of the major concerns that businesses have when it comes to migrating to the cloud is whether they will have less control over their IT solutions. Will their managed service provider (MSP) respond when they need them to? Will their support be as effective as an in-house team? These are just some of the anxieties faced by businesses moving to the cloud.
However, there’s no reason for companies to receive a lesser service when they outsource IT. In actual fact, managed services can deliver more reliable, secure and affordable IT solutions, providing businesses choose the right MSP – and that often depends on communication.
An ongoing relationship
When relationships between a business and an MSP don’t go so well, it is usually because of a lack of communication. It is important to remember that this relationship is an ongoing one and needs to be backed up by reliable dialogue. Take IT support, for example. When selecting a managed service provider, make sure that you choose one that truly values customer service and is on hand with remote business IT support at all times.
The cloud vendor that you choose must also realise that as businesses grow and develop, their IT needs often change. Once again, the communication between MSP and business is vital. Do you need more storage, enhanced cyber security, or more frequent data backups? With a strong relationship that is both reliable and flexible, businesses can get more from their MSP.
Proactive, not reactive, support
Another important factor when outsourcing your IT services is ensuring you receive proactive, rather than reactive, support. Disruptions can occur at any minute and can have a major impact on whether customers perceive you as a reliable, trustworthy business. However, proactive IT support can help prevent outages before they occur, giving you and your customers peace of mind.
Picking the right managed service provider is one of the most important decisions you are likely to make as a business. When it comes to security, network solutions, backup and general business support, having reliable communication with your cloud provider can make the difference between success and failure.
At Nimbus CS, we can take the problem out of your hands, offering full IT support while keeping you informed and updated every step of the way. Contact us today to find out more.