Small & medium-sized businesses (SMBs) today are under attack from malware, ransomware, external threats and data breaches. But with the lack of sophistication around most SMBs security stance, the prospect of remaining unaffected by attacks is bleak. Here are five things SMBs can do to help preserve their networks and systems. While this list does not completely cover all aspects of protecting a network, these are great first steps. If you need assistance, a managed service provider (MSP) like Pennyrile Technologies can help. A managed service provider delivers services, such as network, application, infrastructure and security, via ongoing and regular support and active administration on customers’ premises, in their MSP’s data center (hosting), or in a third-party data center.
Backup Files Every Day
As catastrophic as data loss is, the number of businesses that still are not backing up the computers and servers on their network is unbelievable. According to the Symantec Small to Medium Size Businesses (SMB) data, only 23% of SMBs are backing up their data on a daily basis and fewer than 50% are backing up data weekly. Any number of events can result in data loss, so the importance of frequently backing up your network cannot be overstated.
Ensure Backup Procedures Are Checked Regularly
Many times business owners think that they have a backup system in place only to find out after it’s too late that it hasn’t been working properly. It may seem like your files are being backed up daily, however, the backup could have become corrupt or it is not backing up huge chunks of critical data. Check your backup procedures regularly to ensure they are working properly in order to be sure that ALL of your data can be recovered. In the age of BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Devices) it is also important to frequently backup data on your employee’s personal laptops, iPads or Blackberrys, so make sure you have a procedure in place to check those backups as well.
Make Sure Updated Virus Protection and Firewalls Are Always Enabled
Far too many companies either have no virus protection, expired virus software licenses, or disabled virus programs that aren’t running at all. This makes their business technology vulnerable to virus attacks from emails, spam, data downloads, and un-reputable websites. Further, because of inadequate firewall protection about 40% of small to medium businesses will have their network accessed by a hacker. Chances are, when these businesses are attacked they will be entirely unaware it is happening. In order to protect your valuable data and assets, ensure your virus protection is adequate, up-to-date and functioning properly and that your firewall is intact. Finally, don’t forget to update security patches and change passwords when an employee leaves in order to deter hacking attempts.
Monitor Server Drives
Dangerously full server drives can bring their own set of problems - ranging from program and server crashes to sluggish email delivery. Proactive monitoring and maintenance of your servers can spare your business a lot of problems down the road. And don't just monitor to see if the drives are full, but also monitor for hard drive failures, or predicted failures to help avoid data loss. Replacing drives with predicted failures can save your business time and money by avoiding extended downtime.
Regularly Check Critical Built-In Logs
Very few problems with technology emerge suddenly. These problems typically progress over time and evolve into more serious problems. Frequently review your critical built-in log files to help identify the problem before it has gotten out of control and wreaks havoc on your business infrastructure.