Technology in the 21st century is progressing at a crazy fast pace – what seemed high tech 5 years ago seems old and outdated today. And it’s only picking up speed.
Everyday, our businesses have to update their operations in order to stay current and competitive. Putting their data in the cloud, making their office remote-friendly so you there’s no slow down during the pandemic, and choosing the right management tools for their teams – these are all difficult decisions.
The tools that we use for business tend to be cloud-base and connected to your other tools – be it Slack, Monday.com, remote sales tools, or HR management tools. And at least one if not more of those is connected to your private data.
Not only that – the tools you use are often connected to your clients’ data, like credit cards, sometimes social security numbers and other information that would be harmful if released into the world, especially by people who know how to monetize on it and know where to sell it.
If you don’t know where to begin, here is a rough road map of where to start if you’re feeling a bit lost in all this. It’s important to do research – data security could make you or break you.
Penetration Testing – what is it and why do it?
Most countries in the world have some sort of privacy and e-transaction laws. In order to stay ahead of them and to test your systems regularly, you need to do Penetration Testing – or “Pen Testing”. You don’t have to do it yourself – in fact, you shouldn’t. There are a lot of pen testing companies out there, and you should get yourself familiar with ones that are most experienced in your type of business. Different niches will need different protections, depending on what kind of software you work with.
So what is pen testing anyway? A penetration test tests for weak spots in your defence system. The pen testing company acts like a hacker would, in order to see if any of the system’s glitches, backdoors and lack of updates can be exploited in order to gain access to valuable data.
A good pen tester company will be on top of any new technologies that are springing up all the time – they have to be continually learning and in the game.
Since technology is changing almost week to week, it’s important to update your systems fairly often. This doesn’t only mean you computers at work – but includes any smartphones you or your employees might use.
And we’re not talking about hardware updates ,but a simple operating system update that comes with the newest anti-virus protection that will protect you from hackers.
This includes updating your tablets, browsers, and plugins. But that’s not all! Consider every smart device you have a potential entry way for a virus to come into your system. This includes things like smart TVs! Make a list of all the equipment you use, and what hardware will become compromised if an attack happens.
Is Antivirus Software Enough?
Antivirus technology is an important investment. Is the software any different from what you use on your personal computer? They might be destined by teh very same companies – some of the best business antivirus software is considered to be:
- Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus
- Norton Small Business
- McAfee Total Protection
You might know these as household antivirus names – and they have long experience with staying on top of the game. Of course, in order to keep a small business safe you need to get a pro version of the program. These are ideal for small to medium sized businesses.
When it comes to large businesses, it’s a good idea to see if you can invest in an in-house tech team who will be in charge of data protection and antivirus protection as well. A lot of companies simply hire outside firms to take care of their data protection needs – after all, it’s best to deal with specialists and not spend the time, energy and money on hiring experts in a field you’re not familiar with.
Backing Up Your Data – and Getting Rid of It.
One of the most crucial things in this game is to be one step ahead of your opponent. If your system suffers a failure and your data is lost due to malware or a virus, or a “simple” highjacking, the milk has been spilt.
But if you conduct regular backups of your data, this problem won’t be as devastating. In the words of Boy Scouts – be prepared. Backup your data regularly, on a schedule. Reliable data backup is usually included in a protection package at any company that deals with professional data protection.
Hackers and viruses are out there. Think of your company as a house that might be located in a not-so-great neighborhood. You want to discourage and prevent attacks by showing that you’re prepared – fences, video monitoring and alarms. Forgetting about any of these, or thinking that you don’t need them is like leaving your door unlocked and hoping nobody will try to open it.
And in a lot of cases, thieves look for an easy way in – it simply has a better ROI for them. A weak system presents an easy target, and a well-protected system might be too much of a bother.