Does your office close for public holidays? Whilst your employees are getting excited at the thought of a long weekend away, criminals are getting excited about the prospect of hundreds of office buildings lying dormant and empty over the holiday shut down. And I am not just talking about burglars who might break into your property to steal or vandalise things, we must also be aware that Cyber Criminals don’t stop during the holidays. In fact, this is when they are likely to strike as they know they have more time before staff return to work and anything is suspected.
Below are our Top Tips for protecting your business, not just during holiday periods but all year round.
1. Make sure your back-ups are backed up
If you are shutting your doors for the bank holidays or there are staff members on annual leave who deal with operations or IT, you need to make sure you have your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan in place (and it has been tested). This isn’t just in case your data is stolen, there could be a power cut, flood or other natural disasters during this time – could you recover easily from this? If you don’t have a Disaster Recovery plan in place, we can help you formulate and test one. We also have backup solutions that ensure your data can be recovered.
2. Protect your data and devices
Before your staff leave the office, make sure they leave portable devices locked in a drawer or store cupboard. If they are left on show and your property has a break in, this will be the first thing they go for. Another way of ensuring your data is safe is by encrypting it on the device so that only those with an encryption key can access it. Learn more here about encrypting the data on your business devices.
If your staff will be taking their corporate devices such as mobile phones or laptops home with them, make sure they are reminded of your IT Policy and being safe online. Advise them to take care when using public Wi-Fi networks at airports, hotels or restaurants, as the open nature of the network allows for snooping and could be compromised or malicious.
3. Know who has access to what
According to Gartner, more than 70% of unauthorised access to data is committed by an organisation’s own employees. Access control should be used both for physical security and information security to regulate who can access what. Most businesses protect their physical estate by controlling who has access to the various parts of your building via keys, swipe cards, biometric systems or security guards.
You can do the same for your IT estate by setting up access rights on your network. This gives you visibility and control over who can log on to your systems and access certain files and folders. You can set this up for individuals and groups. For instance, your sales and marketing team may work together so need access to similar files and folders but you don’t want marketing to view personal information on clients. So you can restrict access on the client folder to any staff in the marketing distribution group but allow them access to all other folders.
Far too many times we have completed an IT Audit for businesses and they didn’t know that most of their staff had access to the HR folders because a rule hadn’t been created. If you think this could be your business, learn more about how our IT Security Audits can help you.
4. Safeguard Critical assets and information
If you are going to be away from your IT networks and computer systems for a period of time, make sure they are protected from online threats. Simple tasks such as insuring your antivirus software is installed AND it is kept up to date could protect you from known threats. But what about the unknown ones?
If you have an Outsourced IT Provider like Metaphor IT looking after your IT infrastructure we can provide you with enterprise class security solutions that monitor your IT estate 24/7, bringing you peace of mind and the ability to relax over the break. Our Managed Security Service can provide you with the skills and resources you need to protect your business, all for a monthly cost.
5. Keep your data safe in the Cloud
Having business processes in the Cloud can have its benefits, but with the ability to access and share information from anywhere, it is important to be aware of the protective measures to take when challenging privacy in the Cloud. Security features such as multi-factor authentication, data encryption and monitoring your network should help mitigate any risks. Metaphor IT has first-hand experience in helping organisations find the right balance between flexibility and security. Learn more about our Mobility Management Solutions.
Our support staff will be working hard throughout the holidays, looking after our clients, keeping their IT systems safe and operational whilst they are away.
So if you need help in the run up or during the holidays… get in touch with us today on 0333 003 3305.