When you’re an individual running your small business from home, keeping your computer safe and secure is a relatively straightforward and easy process.
For the most part, installing anti-virus and firewall software, keeping it updated and running regular virus checks will generally suffice and as long as you’re backing up your work – doing so on a USB drive will more often than not be suitable enough – you can almost guarantee that you’re unlikely to come into any problems in terms of computer safety and security.
As soon as you start growing your small business and have even a small network of computers, however, the task of ensuring that everything stays safe and secure is slightly more difficult and requires more in-depth planning to ensure no issues occur that don’t have to, something that the following information will help with.
Implement a blanket user security policy
A resource that can take some time to develop, but which will help to greatly reduce the likelihood of any security problems arising, a blanket user security policy given to each member of staff or user of a company computer should state exactly what you expect the user to do and not to do when it comes to computer usage.
It doesn’t have to be overly in-depth, but as long as it outlines everything that shouldn’t be carried out as it could cause issues, by giving it to each user, if nothing else it ensures that should something go severely wrong, the person at fault can’t come back and say “I wasn’t told not to do that”.
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Restrict internet access
Simple and straightforward, by restricting internet access, making it impossible to visit websites that could be harmful, you can ensure that you greatly reduce the chance of some kind of virus being downloaded from a website, maliciously or not.
Limit the use of external devices
From external hard drives to USB drives, it’s strongly advised that the use of these devices is limited to company devices only – as soon as you start allowing personal devices to be used, whereby they are used outside of the workplace as well as in it, you increase the chance of a virus being downloaded onto a device externally and then uploaded to the company network.
Consider systems and / or network monitoring software
It might bring with it a cost greater than you were looking to pay, but by investing in systems and / or network monitoring software, you are put in almost complete control of your entire computer network and all PCs on it.
Informing you of everything from when an unauthorised USB drive is being used to where exactly there’s a fault in the network and how to resolve it, due to this software’s popularity with medium to large organizations, there’s a great amount of variety available and so it’s strongly recommended that you shop around, as it could be possible to purchase it at an extremely competitive and affordable price.
It might not be at the forefront of your mind when you’re growing your small business, but computer network security needs to be something you spend both time and money on. With companies relying more and more on technology, if you neglect this side of your business, there’s a very good chance it could turn out to have a particularly detrimental effect on your organization.