Sample Blog Post – Computer Security
Below is a sample of a blog post that is for an MSP that services New York City. They have a niche of computer security.
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Computer security is more than viruses and passwords
Computer security, in basic terms means keeping your computer and the data that’s in it safe and secure. More New York City business data is stored in or accessed from our computer and mobile devices than ever before. Most business lack the understanding of how to keep their information safe and secure from competitors and hackers. By following just a few rules you can dramatically improve the overall security of your business data.
Understanding how your business network is connected to the internet is a critical step to ensuring your network is safe. Your business connected to the internet is similar to your office. There are many ways to get in and out, through doors, windows, air vents etc. The more access points you have, the more vulnerable you are. Leaving a window open doesn’t mean you will get hacked, or lose data. But it does make it easy for nefarious characters to get in. Furthermore, your ‘secure’ doors and windows may not be that safe after all. A weak hinge or rusty lock may not be discovered until it is too late.
Your business has many access points to the internet, without proper effort and testing, not all of them will be secured. Just like you wouldn’t leave your reception door unlocked, you shouldn’t leave your business data wide open either. The things to consider are installation of a quality firewall, safely updating your business software, antivirus and staff education.
Updating your software and applications
Updating your applications is becoming easier, especially your Operating System. We don’t have the time here to go into detail about the many ways to update the many software packages you may have or use, but generally speaking the software manufacturer will provide you a way to do this automatically via the internet. Be sure to backup everything before any update to ensure if something breaks during the update you do not lose your business data.
There are two basic types of firewalls and both perform the same functions - software and hardware. A hardware firewall is probably included in your router if you are using one, while you may or may not have a software firewall installed. To continue our office analogy, a firewall is like building a wall and gate around your office and giving the guard at the gate instructions on who to let in and out. While this does give a great deal of protection, it is not perfect. Someone may know a way around or under your wall, or even be able to trick the guard into letting them in.
You yourself may unwittingly allow someone in. This could happen by simply opening an email or even simply surfing the web. Spyware, viruses, trojans and the like are ever more adept in their methods of fooling you and your guards. Emails may come from a trusted friend containing a dangerous virus without them even knowing it. This is where the next layer of protection comes in, antivirus.
Antivirus software is a popular security solution. Often these packages come as “suites” including a firewall and Spyware scanner. While most of these programs are effective in their promised tasks, it is not wise to rely solely on them. They only protect individual computers and devices, and not your business network as a whole. It is also important to ensure your antivirus updates on a regular basis. New threats come out every minute so check its updates manually to be sure they have happened.
Back to our office analogy, we now have all of our windows, doors and other entry ways locked and secured. We have a wall around our office with a guard at the gate and we have software scanning everything that comes in past the gate. Sounds pretty good, but there’s still the largest security hole we need to address, staff.
A large percentage of infections are caused by staff themselves. The internet is an ever changing place that requires users to be educated about its use. We don’t suggest that you need to be an IT security expert to simply read your email, but you need to take some time to educate staff on the dangers that pop up everyday, in their inbox and across the web - and the precautions to take in order to avoid them.
Getting your business set up to a secure standard and maintaining security can be a time consuming task, but the alternative can be crippling to your business. With many small and large tasks needed to ensure security on an ongoing basis, it can be quite a distraction from running your business. If you would rather focus on growing your business than security, talk with us about how we have helped hundreds of New York small and medium business safely operate in the ever changing cybersecurity landscape.