Complex passwords

It’s best to start with the basics, and make sure that all of the passwords that each staff member is using for any confidential files and systems are secure. A threefold approach to this will cover all bases, starting by updating passwords regularly. Choose a regular date once every month and make it the policy that all passwords have to be changed then. Secondly, use different passwords for each login. Using the same password might make it easier to remember but it creates a weakness in the system, as it means that if someone cracks it then they can access everything. Last but not least, use long and complex passwords. This means using letters, numbers, a mixture of upper and lower case and characters such as ! and & to make your password harder to guess. The longer your password, and the wider variety of different characters you use, the more time it would take for a hacker to work it out as the number of combinations that could fit increase exponentially with every extra character.

Consult the professionals

Keeping your network secure is vital to any business, so it is worth consulting with a specialist I.T. company for reassurance that your systems are fully protected. Whether you choose to outsource your whole I.T. department with fully managed support, or you just consult on particular issues such as security, a professional’s guidance will always be a worthwhile investment for your business.

Update your security

Do you frequently cancel or postpone security updates to your computer? Every time you ignore an update you are leaving holes in the system which expose your business. Consider antivirus software as a vital investment to your business- free antivirus subscriptions that come with your computer might be suitable for home use but won’t hold up to the potential attacks that a business network might encounter. Opt for a good quality antivirus software suitable for business use, and make sure that you keep up with updates- you can often set them to download automatically.

Keep up to date

Make regular encrypted backups of your data, outside of your network to make it more secure. This also will allow you to recover data within a day rather than weeks, minimising the disruption to your services. With so many stories in the media about companies being hacked, make sure that you are up to date with the regulations to keep your company safe. A commercial lawyer can advise you on current legislation on protecting customers’ data. If your business uses any specialist software, make sure you have the latest version, and beware of sticking with outdated programmes- once support updates stop being created, the software essentially becomes stuck in time to that date and without vital security protection may become susceptible to attacks.