As a business, you depend on a functioning IT infrastructure. To ensure that your IT infrastructure continues to run smoothly in the long term, it is essential to address the issue of IT security.
Here are a few tips on how you can increase the security of IT in your company:
E-mails are sent from server to server on their way through the internet and are stored temporarily. However, if e-mails are sent unencrypted, they can theoretically be read or falsified by attackers on any server. Of course, you don’t want that.
That’s why you should definitely use e-mail encryption. With most providers, encryption can be set up via SSL/TSL. This is a transport encryption in which the connection between two servers is encrypted at the time of transmission.
Backup in Cloud
Important documents are often stored on the local hard drive. If the hard drive goes belly up, you have a problem. Therefore, you should at least synchronise the important content with a cloud. If you use Microsoft Office, you can use OneDrive . Here you can access up to 1 TB of cloud storage with your regular Office subscription.
Another advantage of cloud storage is that you can access your documents from anywhere. It is also super easy to synchronise files between several devices.
Secure passwords & password managers
Passwords are ideal when you can’t remember them yourself, because that’s when others will have a hard time figuring them out. Using your name and date of birth is always a bad idea. Ideally, a good password should consist of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. It should also be at least 8 characters long.
It is also important to have a separate password for each service. Otherwise, you run the risk that in the event of a password leak, hackers can easily log on to other services as well. You can use Lockwise from Firefox as a password manager, for example. This service stores passwords across devices. If you have an Android phone and also use the Chrome browser, you should consider using Google’s password manager.
Although a secure password offers a certain degree of protection, logins are not 100% secure. Many providers therefore work with double authentication, in which, for example, a code is requested in addition to the password, which is sent to the mobile phone or the e-mail address. To increase IT security, you should use the option of double authentication wherever it is offered to you.
Many things can go wrong on a website. Serious editing errors can happen, hacker attacks can succeed or an update can lead to the collapse of the system. If no website backup is available in such a case, this usually means a lot of work.
As a measure for IT security, regular backups of your website should therefore be created and stored in a safe place. Many professional website providers even offer the possibility to create these backups automatically.
There are also plug-ins for most content management systems that safely create backups. If you work with WordPress, you should take a look at the plugin “All-in-One WP Migration“. I have been using this reliable plugin myself for many years.
If you have an open Wi-Fi network, you open the door to uninvited guests. Therefore, protect your internal network with at least a password. Also use the security-relevant features offered by your wireless router (e.g. firewall).
Limited access for employees
Do not give staff full access to all your data if this is not necessary. Instead, set up different levels of access that give your staff only the data they need to do their job.
Equip all your computers, smartphones & tablets with anti-virus software and update it regularly. For computers with Windows 10, the built-in Microsoft Defender antivirus already provides excellent protection.
Most websites are attacked on a daily basis, even if the website owner is not aware of it. Therefore, you should definitely protect your website with a firewall to ward off attacks. If you use WordPress, you should take a look at the Wordfence plugin. This is available in a free and an improved premium version. It is also worth taking a look at the server-side settings in your web space. Often, providers have already integrated a function here that can be used to place a firewall in front of the website.
Encrypted data storage devices for more IT security
If your office is broken into and computers, smartphones and external hard disks are lost that are not encrypted, you have quite a problem.This is because the stored data is then accessible to strangers without any passwords. Therefore, data storage devices with sensitive data should always be encrypted.
Secure your phone
If your smartphone breaks down, is lost or stolen, you have a lot of work ahead of you without a backup of the data stored on it. Therefore, you should synchronise the data with a cloud. On Android phones, a backup can be made directly into the Google account. But manufacturers such as Samsung or Honor also offer their own clouds where smartphone data can be backed up.
Protect your smartphone so that no one can access your device without authorisation. With modern devices, you can choose from a variety of security settings, ranging from a simple pin to facial recognition or fingerprint.
Digitise important documents
The most important documents in your company should always be digitised and stored in a secure place. If you lose your paper documents, you still have a digital backup that you can use.
Using VPN in public wi-fi
Unprotected access to a public network is a security risk, as unencrypted data can be possibly intercepted. Therefore, public wi-fi networks should only be used in conjunction with a VPN. Here, the computer first connects to a VPN server in encrypted form, which then connects to the internet in a second step. I personally use NordVPN as my provider. NordVPN has a good price-performance ratio, many server locations and also good data transfer rates.