How to Protect Your Business from an IT Disaster if You’re an IT Novice

How to Protect Your Business from an IT Disaster if You’re an IT Novice

Did you know that more than half of all data breaches are down to human error? At the same time, reducing the chances of human error ranks alarmingly low on the list of business priorities. So, how do you go about transforming that weakest link in your IT security strategy into your first and most effective line of defense in the ongoing battle against hackers?

Protecting your business from disaster, whether in the form of a natural catastrophe or a data breach, broadly comes down to two main factors – implementing the right technology and providing adequate training to your employees. Fortunately, there’s no need to be an IT professional to protect your business from a catastrophe. What it mostly comes down to is changing your mindset and cultivating the right habits.

Learning How to Identify Online Scams

Forewarned is forearmed, and that’s why raising staff awareness to the threats that face your business is one of the most important steps of any digital security strategy. Although hackers often operate by exploiting vulnerabilities in your technology, they are just as likely, if not more so, to take advantage of human weakness. That’s why social engineering scams are constantly on the rise.

You don’t need to be an expert in technology to be able to identify online scams. In fact, most scams are obvious if you know what to look for. As the adage goes, if it sounds too good to be true, then it almost certainly is. Furthermore, no one is going to ask you to send sensitive information like payment or personal details over email or an instant messaging app if they’re a legitimate business.

Many scams take the form of high-pressure sales tactics, characterized by instilling a sense of fear and/or urgency in potential victims. That’s why every business needs to implement standardized procedures for exchanging or storing sensitive information. If there’s any suggestion of circumventing these standard procedures and security policies, then you can be sure someone is trying to scam you.

Keeping Up to Date

If human error isn’t the issue, then your technology is the only variable left. Outdated technology, for example, presents a recipe for disaster. However, that doesn’t mean you need to know everything there is to know about the inner workings of your apps, operating systems, firewalls and firmware. What it does mean is that everything must be kept up to date.

New vulnerabilities surface all the time in both hardware and software. For example, 2018 started off with the announcement of a major security flaw affecting almost all modern computers, smartphones and other devices. Fortunately, as long as your device is up to date, this issue shouldn't bother you. Operating systems like Windows 10 should take care of this automatically, but those that don’t should either be updated manually or, if that’s not possible, retired completely.

Most modern hardware and software should keep itself updated automatically, but things can get more complicated with legacy systems that are no longer supported by their original manufacturers. That’s why you should always retire any devices or systems in your technology infrastructure that are past the end of their support lifecycles. Another option is to migrate to the cloud, whereby all hosted apps and systems should be maintained and kept up to date by your service provider.

Alarming security problems are just a fact of life for modern businesses, but that shouldn’t mean you need to stay clear of technological innovation. By partnering with an IT consultant and cloud vendor you can depend on, you’ll be able to outsource your security and compliance obligations to those who know best. If you’re ready to start protecting your business from disaster, call Qoverage today.