It can be practically impossible to run a business that isn’t connected at critical points to the internet. Everything from point of sale to marketing is handled online, but connecting your system is a two-way street. While you can more effectively run your operations, your network is vulnerable to criminals without the proper protections. That’s why it’s important to implement a thorough and robust safety protocol.
The most immediate threat to the sanctity of your business information is malware. This malicious code is designed to self-replicate on a computer, hijacking existing software and then manipulating that software to steal or corrupt information on your computer or network. There are a number of different forms of anti-virus protection, but they all generally tend to operate on the same basic principles. They take a heuristic approach to identifying potential threats, drawing from a regularly updated list of viruses and virus families and then comparing the code on your computers to see how they match up against these potential threats.
Regardless of the software, you choose to protect your systems, you’re going to want to make sure your subscription is up to date, all of the computers on your network are regularly updated, and your provider is vigilant in staying ahead of the curve. Since virus creators and antivirus teams are in a constant cold war, a system that’s not updated with the latest information is ill-equipped to keep your business safe.
Whether it’s due to an unidentified form of malware, a catastrophic hardware failure, or simple user error, sometimes data loss happens. The best security systems don’t just protect your small business from clear and present dangers; they also protect you against the unexpected. Data backup and recovery is a key component of any small business’ security system.
The nature of your data protection can vary, and the system you choose should depend on the nature of your business. While using local servers to store information was once the industry standard, these require extra space, backup, and maintenance. More and more, businesses are relying on the cloud to store their information. Regardless of the option you take, every piece of information that’s valuable to your business should have a duplicate, and most backup software can automate the process for you. Just keep in mind that there are government regulations in place for the duration, location, and nature of how you store the sensitive information you receive from your customers.
Chances are that the devices on your business network aren’t constrained to fix terminals. If you operate a point of sale system, there are probably multiple mobile devices that your staff uses to get their jobs done right. If you leave your Wi-Fi network open to customers, you have a wide variety of unique users logging in to the same network you use to store your critical information. Unfortunately, you might not have much control over the security on these machines.
That’s where endpoint protection comes in. A software package with endpoint protection focuses on the overall health of your network. It manages potential malware that can get tracked in by random computers or other devices on your system and identify weak points in your network and help patch up these holes. More advanced versions of this software can address potential problems in virtual private networks and other complex systems as well.