Monthly Archives: December 2015

Keeping it Clean: How to Keep Your Computer Virus Free

With more and more security threats present on the web, it is important to follow the proper protocol to keep your computer clean and virus-free.

With more and more security threats present on the web, it is important to follow the proper protocol to keep your computer clean and virus-free.

As quickly as computer and network security technology advances, it always seems that the hackers are one step ahead. This is a very important field, because a company’s data can be extremely sensitive. What would happen if a list of your clients and their contact information was to end up in the hands of a competitor? What if your customer’s payment information found its way onto the black market? Obviously, this would be disastrous. Even if it’s something small, a virus can cause all sorts of issues and delays in your day-to-day operation. Here are a few tips for making sure that your company’s computers and network stay virus free.

Employee education

Employees are, surprisingly, one of the biggest holes in the security of your network. Because of this, one of the most important things you should do to make sure your data stays secure is to educate your employees on the subject. Make sure they understand the importance of strong passwords and know what one looks like. Talk to them about phishing and how e-mails that look legitimate can actually be hackers’ attempts to gain access to the system. Make sure they understand how important it is that no one else gains access to the system under their name. Whether you have classes or send memos, do whatever it takes to make sure your employees know how important it is to protect your company’s network, and what their part is in it.

Limit outside access

Many companies allow their employees to work from home. This can improve efficiency and flexibility, but usually requires that the employee has access to the company’s network from home, over the internet. Although this is not a bad idea, you should keep a close eye on who has access, and how strong your security is at that portal. Carelessly granting outside access to your system can allow people who were not intended to have access to gain it.

Anti-virus software

It may seem obvious to some, but it’s important enough to mention anyway. Anti-virus software should be your last line of defense against code that should not be on your network. Anti-virus programs can get a little annoying sometimes, but the truth is that the results of not having it are much worse. Keep in mind that, while free anti-virus software does exist, it is mostly intended for individual consumers and doesn’t do much more than the basics. If you’re running a business, it is more than worth the cost of software that will protect you and your network.

Routine audits

Every so often, perhaps every quarter or so, take another look at your network security. Consider how your employees are doing, and whether or not you feel like they’re protecting your company. Take stock of how many people have access to your network, and how safe that access is. Evaluate your anti-virus software, and decide whether or not it’s still meeting your needs. Look at all aspects of the security of your network, and make sure everything is up to your standards. It may even be a good idea to bring in a security consultant every once in a while to point out anything that you might be missing.

A major breach in your network’s security can cause major problems for the continuity of your business. In some cases, it can even lead to the business closing for good. A virus can be all that it takes for this to happen. Make sure you’re protected against this catastrophe. Not quit sure if your network is as secure as it should be? Contact us. We can answer any questions you have and make sure everything is in order.

Why Every Business Needs Backup Disaster Recovery Solutions

Businesses need a strong plan in place for data recovery in order to protect themselves and their customers, yet many still do not.

Businesses need a strong plan in place for data recovery in order to protect themselves and their customers, yet many still do not.

Any business that stores important business and customer data should have a backup recovery contingency plan in place. Many small and medium-sized businesses grossly underestimate the effect of data loss on businesses, and as a result put themselves in a precarious position that could come back to bite them. Just a few small steps can help to protect data from potential loss, with very little resources required. There is truly no excuse for not putting these simple measures in place when growing a business. Businesses have relatively few reasons why they shouldn’t prepare for data loss disasters, but many reasons why they should.

Companies Rarely Test Their Backups

According to Boston Computing, very few companies actively test the backups that they create. Even fewer stick to a rigid backup schedule, despite the fact that there are many automatic backup solutions available. Even if your company is performing backups, you must make sure that you are actively testing those backups to ensure that the data stored on them was stored without issue and no further failures have taken place. Make sure that you are actively testing your backups and ensuring that the data stored on them is reliable for data restoration, should data loss take place.

All Hardware Fails Eventually

There isn’t a single piece of tech hardware available today that will be working seamlessly 50 years from now with regular use. Your hardware systems are going to fail, it’s just a matter of when. When that failure occurs, it is important that you not only have taken steps to ensure that data is not lost forever, but have a plan in place with a backup disaster recovery company that can be quickly put into action to mitigate the losses that your business suffers. Do not place a lot of faith in the hardware that you are using and makes sure that you back up your data across several iterations to ensure that no data is lost when your hardware does fail.

Human Error is a Huge Risk

According to a study from the IT Policy Compliance Group, human error is the number one reason for lost data among businesses. Employees can accidentally delete records, forget to backup information, and generally mishandle data. It is important that your business has the proper policies in place to mitigate this risk. Employees should be trained on properly storing and handling your sensitive business data, and even then you can bet that some data will slip through the cracks. Having the right systems in place can help to reduce the risk of data being lost as a result of human error.

Plan Ahead

The first and best step that any business can take is to contact a backup disaster recovery (BDR) service provider and work with them to put a plan together that will suit your business needs. There is a large amount of risk that comes with data loss. Most companies that suffer a data disaster are truly never able to fully recover, and many end up shutting their doors if their sensitive business data can not be recovered. Having a plan in place and taking proper precautions will help to not only reduce the chances of data loss effecting your business, but will also make the recovery and cleanup process much more streamlined.

If you would like to ensure that your business is safe from potential issues associated with data loss, please contact us today to schedule your initial 100% risk-free consultation. We’ll walk you through the process of protecting your business, while helping you implement backup and data storage processes that protect your data and provide you with peace of mind.

5 Simple Tips for Preventing Malware, Viruses and Adware on Company Machines

Protecting your company machines from malware, viruses and adware today, can save you a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road.

Protecting your company machines from malware, viruses and adware today, can save you a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road.

Malware, adware and viruses are common infections that computers and systems of all types are commonly infected with. The severity of the infection depends entirely on the malware that was installed. Some malware packages are more harmful than others, but as a business you have other responsibilities to worry about, like ensuring that your business and customer data is safe from potential data theft and malicious usage. Luckily, there are some very simple steps that can be taken that greatly reduce the risk of data theft and other malicious attacks within your business. Remember, hackers and others with malicious will almost always go for the easiest target, so taking a few simple measures can go a long way toward protecting your business.

1. Install a Quality AntiVirus/Anti-Malware Software Package on Every Machine

The first and most important step is to ensure that every machine within your company uses a high quality antivirus and anti-malware software package to keep the machine safe. There are many available, some available for free online. This basic first step will allow you to scan your computer for current infections and protect your business and machines against future infections as well.

2. Use Real-Time Protection Features

When choosing anti-malware software, it is very important that you choose a software package that offers real-time protection. Many of the anti-malware offerings will allow you to scan your computer to identify and remove current infections, but a smaller number offer real-time reporting. It is important to remember that malware infections can happen at any time while browsing the internet, opening emails, or clicking what appears to be a harmless link. Real-time features let you ensure that your business is protected any time a machine is being used.

3. Require Daily or Weekly Scans and Updates

Once you’ve chosen a software package that meets your needs and offers real-time malware protection, set a company policy regarding daily and weekly scans of your machines. Although daily scans never hurt, some businesses may opt for a weekly scan instead. By ensuring that your machines are regularly checked for issues you can be certain that all machines are clean. Additionally, this will help to further protect computers that are not receiving real-time protection.

4. Teach Best Practices for Opening Emails and Clicking Links

One of the biggest reasons company machines become infected with malware is from employees clicking on links and opening emails that shouldn’t be clicked or opened. One of the easiest ways to infect a machine with malware is to convince the user to download a file on their own. By teaching your employees the best practices for opening emails, browsing the internet and clicking anything that could potentially result in a download.

5. Use Hardware Firewalls

Although most machines running Windows will have their own built in software firewall, it is always a good idea to install and utilize a hardware firewall as well. This helps to ensure all machines that your company uses including linked printers, scanners and computers have a layer of protection against malicious attacks. A reliable firewall will protect your systems against malicious network attacks, exploits, malware, viruses and worms that could result in data theft.

When it comes to malware, viruses and other PC infections, the best step you can take is preventative measures. Ensuring that you have a hardware firewall in conjunction with high quality software solutions on every machine will allow you to ensure that you keep your business machines safe while also protecting your network as a whole.

If you would like to learn more about how you can protect your business from malicious threats, please contact us today to schedule your initial risk-free consultation. We’ll walk you through the process of securing your network, machines, and create a sustainable solution that keeps your business safe.