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Biggest Security Risk: Not Assessing Issues

Let's get theoretical here. Let's say your friend Hank suffers from chest pain. It could be nothing, but chest pain isn't something you want to mess around with, so you suggest that Hank goes to a doctor to get it checked out. There are certain things in life you don't just let happen without getting an assessment to make sure they don't turn into bigger issues, right? Your business's IT security is one of those things.

Just like your own physical health, your IT needs to get regular checkups to look for troubling issues that could get explode into major events that are expensive and time consuming to resolve. Beyond these regular audits and assessments, business owners need to be aware when something occurs that needs immediate assessment by a technician.

Some of these events are pretty obvious, but often get passed over or dealt with inappropriately. Let's take a look at a few instances that should cause businesses to pick up the phone and contact their IT provider:

Missing Devices

There are a lot of ways for data to get stolen, and this is by far the easiest. Misplace a USB drive, backup tape, or smartphone? Replacing the hardware should be the last thing on your mind. If the device stored passwords or sensitive company data it is very important to assess any vulnerabilities you may have opened up, such as network device configurations and access into the company network. Proactive measures need to be put in place for devices like smartphones that allow the company to wipe all data on the device in the event it is lost or stolen. Extreme care needs to go into using backup tapes, and the company should consider disk-to-disk backup and secure offsite storage. Thumb drives and other media can be encrypted as well. If a laptop or desktop is stolen, consider it a huge emergency to tighten security on your network.

Announced Vulnerabilities

In the world of software, security vulnerabilities are bound to exist. Vendors typically release security vulnerabilities to the public when they develop a fix for them, which makes things dangerous for those who don't stay up to date. When a vulnerability doesn't have a patch to fix it, you'll want to make sure you take preventative measures on your network to boost up security.

IT Changes

Adding new technology or modifying existing hardware and software can open up risk. That isn't to say you shouldn't stay up to date with your IT technology, but you will want to evaluate your network security after or during the upgrading process. Any major software or operating system upgrades , new equipment, or new software solutions should all be checked into to prevent huge problems down the road.

Security Events

Finally, when a vulnerability is discovered on your network or there has been a breach in your security, it is time to get it checked into immediately. If you discover that one of your users has access to files they shouldn't, or if your network suffers any kind of attach, get it checked out immediately.

Has your company suffered from one of these events? Do you run regular network audits to check up on your business IT? Give us a call at (248) 737-7920 and ask about getting a network audit to pinpoint any vulnerabilities you may have to save you a lot of headache later on.

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Joshua Van Berkum is passionate about embracing the positive change that technology brings to small businesses. Having been in the "technology trenches" for years, as well as owning his own business for 15 years, Joshua is equipped with the patience and know-how that it takes to make technology decisions carefully and implement proper plans quickly. Still learning and always adapting, Joshua is continually striving to grow his customers' businesses through innovation, while ensuring his client's return on their technology investment.

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Guest Friday, 25 April 2014