SMB Technology

Q&A: SMB Internet Security

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I run a small marketing business with 6 staff. I hear a lot of talk about the importance of Internet security but I’m trying to keep my IT expenses down and I just don’t have the time to worry about it. Is my business at risk if I don’t make changes? How difficult is it to get protected?

Successful businesses today are more dependent than ever on an Internet connection to interact with their clients and customers. This essential connection also exposes your company to a world of security concerns and legal risks.

With so much on their plate already, business owners often put computer security at the bottom of their to-do lists - if it makes the list at all. As a result, nearly half of all small and mid-sized businesses don’t take the most basic security measures, such as installing antivirus and anti-spyware software.

Whatever size business you run, the main elements for securing your Internet connectivity remains the same — it’s only the type and scale of the solutions that may vary.

Assess your requirements

Do you have a full understanding of the security you need versus what you currently have? Many small business owners, understandably, do not.

The good news is you may be more protected than you think. Most home office and small-business local area network routers include a built-in firewall-technology that blocks outsiders from accessing the computers on the network.

Address the fundamentals

At the very least, all your business computers should be protected by a hardware or software firewall as well as antivirus and anti-spyware programs. Some Internet security suite solutions geared toward small businesses combine all three protections, as well as offer safeguards against identity theft, spam and more.

Systemise it

A detailed, written security plan that includes policies and procedures as well as technology requirements is particularly important for businesses with employees. If your security procedures aren't set down in writing, they're easy for an employee to dispute or ignore.

Ensure your team understand the risks

One of the biggest challenges is to introduce and foster an environment of practical steps each of your users can take to protect their interests as well as the interests of the business. It’s important that your staff understand the risks they take each time they take their laptop home or away on business.

Constantly update your security

New Internet threats are constantly emerging. Security won't be effective against new viruses, worms or spyware unless they are properly updated. Most antivirus software and other security solutions can be updated automatically.

Don't go over the top

Internet security is a major issue, but it’s important to keep in mind that the more secure your computer or network is, the more difficult it can be to use. Finding the right balance between security and usability is a challenge all businesses must contend with and often involves some simple trial and error. When you find the correct balance, stick with it.

Recommended software for Internet security

Norton’s Internet Security

http://store.norton.com/v2.0-img/operations/symantus/site/promo/pd/523650_nis09_360v3_au.html

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

http://malwarebytes.org/

Published on: Thursday, June 03, 2010

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