Systems and Hardware
Securing your systems
When running your business you must establish and maintain the appropriate levels of safety to safeguard IT systems, devices, business and employees against issues relating to online and information security.
You also require support for your actual technology, computers and servers, mobile devices, infrastructure, software and middleware. It is vital to know where to obtain such advice, as well as having a dependable source of help if something does go wrong. You should find and engage a trustworthy IT support supplier who has been recommended by someone you trust, and who can demonstrate a sound capability in providing security advice and problem resolution.
Choosing the right IT support partner is important and some research is required prior to making your decision so ask colleagues, suppliers, trade organisations and other companies who they use. You should also carry out an online search for ‘IT Support’ in your area.
In the context of cyber and information security support, if you can find a provider who also holds the relevant qualifications and industry body memberships, you could use that provider for both your IT and cyber / information security support requirements.
When selecting an IT supplier get evidence that they have the relevant experience and can help as your business grows and your needs change.
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Passwords are the most common way for your organisation and the people in it to prove identity when carrying out company business. The use of strong passwords and their secrecy is therefore vital in order to protect the organisation’s and individuals’ security and identity.
The generation and use of passwords can be a complex so having a Password protocol and control should be a key part of your organisation’s cyber and information security strategy.
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When new versions of operating systems are launched, such as Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X / iOS or Android, they are generally accompanied by improved usability, additional features and an enhanced user experience. However, cybercriminals quickly find vulnerable areas in the new operating system and continue to do so for the lifetime of the version. To counter this, the software companies release regular updates –such as security updates or critical updates which protect against malware and security exploits.
As is the case with operating systems, cybercriminals quickly find vulnerable areas in other software and continue to do so for the lifetime of the version. This is more commonplace in mainstream packages used generically across many types of organisation, than specialist, industry-specific programs.
To counter this, software manufacturers release regular updates such as security updates or critical updates, which protect against malware and security exploits. Other types of updates correct errors that enhance the software’s functionality, and are not necessarily security related.
You will generally receive a notification from the software manufacturer in the form of an alert on your screen, that updates are available. You will normally be given the choice of whether to download and install the update immediately or later. Our recommendation is to download and install as soon as possible.
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Whether your business operates an eCommerce or marketing website, it is essential to protect it against attacks from hackers as well as technical failure. The consequences of not doing so include loss of service, reduced revenue and damaged reputation.
If you are hosting your own website ensure that your hardware and software are secure by using strong protected passwords, an effective firewall is in place and monitor log files to spot any attempts at intrusion.
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Your computers, tablets and smartphones are used to store and communicate data which – if in the wrong hands – could be used to compromise the safety and security of your organisation and its employees. This data could be stored on the device itself, or accessible in the form of internet bookmarks, remote network access, or via email and social networking contacts.
It is vital, of course, to safeguard this data whilst devices are in use, but equally important to ensure that computers, tablets and smartphones do not remain vulnerable at the end of their life. This is done by disposing of them correctly. Even data which you may think has been safely deleted can be retrieved with relative ease by both dedicated criminals and skilled opportunists.
If a device is at the end of it’s life it should be dismantled and disposed of properly. Contact your IT support supplier who can help with the disposal.
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