SME’s Guide to Information Security

Information Security can seem like a daunting subject especially for an SME with limited resource, but as a connoisseur of all things cyber Bob wants to assure you that by following his simple steps, you will never fall foul when it comes to your organisation’s security.

Let’s start with the basics, passwords: Never use a password that is romantic or personal to you; the chances are you will mention elements of your personal life on social networking sites and make hacking your accounts a breeze.

We are frequently asked “How do I remember a string of random characters?” We find that anagrams are best, come up with a phrase such as “I deserve a 10% pay rise!” and voila your password is ‘Id410%pr!’. We find that character substitution is a great help; for example E becomes 3 and S becomes 5. fight the urge to write your password down. If you take only one peice of advice from this article let it be this… Never write your password down! (There’s an added benefit from giving your brain a workout – it helps fight the ageing process!)

When it comes to protecting yourself from dangers on the internet; ensure you have good, reputable antivirussoftware… while that will protect you for the most part (provided you are keeping up with your updates!), you still have to be especially cautious when surfing the web.  New viruses are coming to fruition every day, in fact around 100 new viruses are discovered each month, so never download software or purchase from a site which unless you trust it implicitly. All staff must have a comprehensive understanding of viruses and their effects on not just your systems, but your business’ reputation, continuity and associated financial implications. Consider implementing an information security training programme to help keep best practises at the forefront of your staff’s minds.

Each of your employees is interacting with customers and prospects every day via email. Are they showcasing your business for the security conscious fortress that it is? Bob would always recommend searching for a secure file sharing system this minimises the risk of any confidential files being compromised on the way to their destination. You can also be sure that your employees are never going to send critical company assets to the wrong person.

Clear Desk Policy… You wouldn’t leave valuables in your car over night would you? So why leave sensitive information strewn all over your desk? Invest in some lockable furniture and implement a classification system, this way your information assets are going to be safe from disgruntled employees and visitors with an ulterior motive.

Do your staff work remotely? Then you should implement some guidelines for securing their devices. Firstly never plug removable media in to unknown laptops or PC’s, you could be opening up a can of worms (pardon the pun!) Secondly don’t connect to public wifi hotspots unless you have a firewall program installed and finally… Always watch who’s around you shoulder surfing is rising in popularity and you never know who’s looking over your shoulder, if you can’t ensure its secure wait until you’re back in the office.

It may seem like a lot to take in, but if you follow Bob’s top five security tips, you won’t go far wrong.

1 Back up Regularly
2 Don’t share passwords
3 Maintain a clear desk
4 Regularly update software
5 Click with caution

If you need any further information, or want to hear about our training package then just get in touch … Or you could always follow us on Twitter BobsBusinessUK

Please follow and like us: