safeguarding IT systems

IT systems are part and parcel of every profession in 2019. The increased use of IT to manage and run businesses leads to increased security risks as crime moves into the digital realm. Safeguarding IT systems is of paramount importance in this modern age. The tips that follow ought to help you and your business remain safe from online threats.

Password protection and management

It’s common for networks and machines to be password protected, but what about the documents within? If you store digital copies of sensitive information, keep them password protected.

When sending documents over email or other digital means, password protect the document and send the password to the recipient in a separate email. There are no guarantees that your information will end up where it should. Password protection limits the probability of unauthorised access and provides another layer of security to keep information safe.

Keep your software up to date

A lot of software will keep itself updated with important security fixes. Internet browsers, for example, are regularly updated with security patches to ensure maximum safety during use. Make sure to have your browsers default to automatically update. It doesn’t take long and can save you the task of having to manually update.

Many businesses now use anti-virus and other security software. The best way to make sure this remains effective is to keep up with updates and ensure you’re always running the most recent version. New online threats emerge all the time, and security software updates help to keep on top of them.

If in doubt, delete

Spam and phishing emails are still common practice. Whilst most of us think we’re savvy enough to avoid them, they’re becoming increasingly duping. Modern email programmes are getting better at filtering out spam and other unwanted communication, but inevitably some will fall through the net.

It’s important to remember that banks and other businesses will never ask for personal information over email or telephone. If there’s a suspicious email, be safe and delete it without clicking anything inside. You can always verify with the alleged sender if you’re uncertain.

Training for employees

IT security information is important and to keep everyone safe it needs to be widespread across the business. Data security training is standard in most businesses, and IT security awareness should come as part of this. Employees should be encouraged to password protect documents, to be aware of what they can send over email, and how to store sensitive information.

Background checks

Online threats are often perceived as coming solely from anonymous hackers intent on pilfering important information. It’s easy to forget that those inside an organisation may also have malicious intent.

Screening potential candidates is standard, so be sure to check their credentials as well as references. Limit access to sensitive data until training has been completed and signed off, and monitor internet use if necessary.

Protect sensitive data

As mentioned above, password protection is a key part in safeguarding IT systems. Properly encrypting sensitive information is particularly important depending on how long your business intends to keep it.

Working in the legal profession gives rise to all sorts of sensitive data being kept that could easily fall into the wrong hands. If it’s kept digital, make sure it is password protected and access is only granted to those who need it.

Depending on what information needs to be kept, redact as much other personal information contained within it as possible when storing.

Keep machines lockable

Offices are filled with people working on various tasks at individual machines. It’s easy to forget to protect your machine if you leave your desk, but it’s vital. You don’t know what might be left on your screen that could be seen by the wrong person, particularly in busy offices or shared spaces.

Another idea is to have individual logins to printing equipment. This keeps any sensitive data from being printed by anyone other than the person who printed it and won’t be left lying on top of the printer for anyone to see.

Safeguarding IT Systems With CBSIT

Working sensibly and safeguarding IT systems is becoming more important than ever. Taking proper precautions reduces risk and allows your company to operate safely and efficiently. Data corruption or losses can damage reputations, lead to fines, or potential prosecutions. Mitigate those risks by enlisting our specialist IT security services to keep you and your clients safe. To find out more, contact us today.