Your network is not 100% secure, but that does not mean that you should stop trying to improve security. With cloud computing and more business activity moving online, security is more critical than ever.
The interesting thing is that a lot of people are talking about security, yet I frequently see that executives do not even know where their companies stand on security. Even if you do not have a big budget for security, it is important to understand your risks and at least take some basic (low cost) steps.
1) Understand your current security measures
Make sure you know what security measures and processes are already in place. Do you have a firewall? Is your wireless network secured? Are patches and updates being applied regularly (e.g. monthly) to your servers and computers? Are antivirus updates being applied daily (and no users have disabled antivirus for convenience)?
2) Encrypt your laptops
Stolen laptops are a common way that thieves get access to company data. And just having password protection does not stop a determined thief. That is why all of your laptops that have company or client data on them should be encrypted, so the only way to access the data is with the appropriate password.
3) Train your users
One of the most effective and least expensive security measures is to train your users. For example, they should not click on links or files in messages from people they do not know. Also, they should use the phone and not email for communications about transferring funds and making payments, because there are phishing attacks that happen when people spoof messages to look like it is from someone you know. This is particularly true if it is with companies outside the US.
Taking these three basic steps can significantly increase your company’s IT security. And as an executive, you want to ensure that IT security is something you stay abreast of and keep at the top of your priorities. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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