You spend a lot of money to build your computer and information systems.You work hard to fill those programs with vendor and client data to make sure you provide top of the line customer service.This information is what your business is based on and how it functions.What are you doing to make sure your data is safe from your competition and from malicious hackers looking to corrupt or steal you data?
There are several ways to help prevent data loss in the event of a catastrophe or hacker attack.Once they are set up and running, they need little to maintenance with the right IT engineer at the helm of your network.Although not all encompassing, the precautions listed below are a good start in ensuring that the information you have captured today will be there when you get in the office tomorrow.
1)A CMOS Password On Your Computers.
Most people know about the Windows login password feature, but most people do not know how easily this can be overridden with the right know how.The pitfall is by the time you get to this screen, an hacker is already working on punching through, and your hard drive are fully activated.You can actually require a password before fully booting up your machine that hinders a would be thief sitting at your station from gaining entry.
That black screen you see during boot process is the activation of your CMOS system.You can require that a user have a password to get this process started.This is very difficult to bypass, usually requiring actually opening the computer case itself in the event a password is forgotten.It also stops the hard drives from fully booting up and activating, thus creating another layer of security for your data.
2)Firewall, Firewall, Firewall
By now, if you are able to use a computer you have heard this term.A firewall attempts to ensure that only data you have requested to see enters your network, and that data you wish to send is the only data that escapes, kind of like a sand sifter.Well, much like the sifter, sometimes you don’t always catch or keep everything you intended to separate.This is good time to review which firewalls you have activated.
If you are connected to a broadband connection, then you have modem connected to your PC constantly streaming data.Most of these devices offer limited or no protection from outside threats.Having a router with a firewall program installed, even if it is only serving data to one computer, can minimize the amount risk you can realize by adding one more layer of encryption.
You can also take the time to activate and configure the firewall program that comes with your later versions of Windows.Out of the box, the program can be a real headache, but having your network engineer set this up properly can also minimize your computer’s exposure to threats.Windows includes it for a reason, trust me on this one.
3)Install Those Annoying Updates
We have all received the little tan balloon saying you have 3 million upates prepard for our computers.Install them!!The Service Packs and updates for your operationg systems and applications typically settle two major problems: current infections and future infections.
In the last Service Pack for Windows XP (SP3), the software runs a test for malicious software attacking your computer, and removes it…for free.It’s not often that Bill Gates sends you a freebie, so it must be valuable and you should take advantage.
These updates also patch and close code sequences that hackers and virus makers take advantage of to corrupt your system.Adding these updates can close down many of your data holes and further protect your system.
4)Back It All Up
I remember my mom harping on about not putting all of my eggs in one basket.The same goes for data, although the basket is not made out of wicker.Your IT solutions company can get into more details regarding which system works best for your business, but having an offsite copy of your information is the best insurance you can buy.It can be another hard drive or an online solution, but if you are not backing up your systems you are setting your self up for disaster.
5)Lockdown Your PC’s
…and I mean physically.Nearly every desktop made has two small flanges on the back with holes in them.There are not for Christmas decorations.These are designed to assist in double locking the computer.With something like a bicycle lock, you can physically attach you computer to a large desk, steel pole, the floor or whtever you like to keep it from walking away.To add to that, when you install the lock to the built in flanges, you stop the would-be thief from opening the CPU case and gaining access to its contents.
Why is this important?Many users do not realize that you can remove the actual hard drive, plug it in to another motherboard, and then take as long as you want to crack the encryption.If you can move it, you can steal it and everything that is in it.
6)Taking Security On The Road
Laptops allow us to work from virtually anywhere, which also means our data can be attacked virtually anywhere.Free WiFi spots are popping up all over the place, and with this, data interception has increased.Make sure that if you are working on a company website, you are on a secure connection (https://) and be smart about how you access your email.Your best practice would be to login to your company’s webmail portal on a secure connection to send your correspondence.Unless you know for certain that your MS Outlook has been properly encrypted, this will ensure that your data is shielded adequately and your email is securely transmitted.
7)Finally, Don’t’ Be Dumb
Bill Gates is not giving out a dollar for every name on the chain letter you received from a friend in Kurzakistan.You are not the heir to eleventy-billion dollars from a prince in Zaire.If you do not know who the email is from do not open it, especially attachments.If you wanted to find out how good you were at removing a virus from a computer, you will have your chance by opening up these random email messages.Even if you know the sender, be wary because, they may opened a virus themselves. If it looks fishy, then it probably is…notify your IT engineer immediately and follow their instructions.
Following these steps will put you on the right path to data protection success.At the end of the day, nothing beats having your network reviewed by a professional IT services company on a regular basis.For a free analysis and review, contact Diversified Computer Solutions.They can help you with these 7 steps and more by putting together a complete solution to keep your business running smoothly.
Founded in Atlanta, GA in 1993, DCS, Inc. has become an established leader in providing IT solutions in the Southeastern United States.DCS is a full-service network and IT integrator providing consulting, integration, implementation, management, and maintenance services to Small and Medium Size Businesses, Enterprise Projects, Government Agencies, Manufacturing Facilities, and K-12 School Districts.For more infomration about how DCS can help make your business run more efficiently contact them at 800.518.9555 or visit their website at http://www.godcs.com