Security

7 Ways to Keep Your IT Systems Safe

December 20, 2013

ITsecurityCNC machine tool users typically love new technologies. That’s why most have embraced the digital world through computer networks, remote monitoring and reporting, mobile devices loaded with APPs, and online transmission of CAD drawings and other important data.

In fact, we’ve become so used to these devices that we sometimes forget how vulnerable they are to hackers and other cyberspace bad guys. Which means important financial data, intellectual property, Web sites and social media can be stolen or compromised. Fortunately there are a number of actions you can take to help protect your IT systems from these threats:

  1. Keep your software up-to-date. Current or updated versions of operating systems, Web browsers, Web site platforms and business software have the best chances of resisting cyber attacks. The older the software, the more likely it can be hacked.
  2. Use anti-virus software. Choose a product that covers all kinds of malware and is continuously, automatically updated. Make sure all your devices are checked regularly.
  3. Allow only authorized software and devices. Employees should not keep sensitive business data on their own computers, smart phones, laptops, etc. Establish rules that include not downloading any unauthorized programs or APPs to company equipment. One company we know lost a great deal of important data when an employee downloaded a game to his computer that released a nasty virus.
  4. Establish strict password rules. By setting standards that include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, you can make it harder for people to access your sensitive data. It’s also a good idea to change passwords every 6 months.
  5. Keep your Wi-Fi system private. IT experts can configure your Wi-Fi network so that it is encrypted and won’t get picked up by unauthorized mobile device users.
  6. Set up firewalls. Again, you may need to consult the experts to make sure your Internet service has robust firewalls that will keep intruders out.
  7. Backup frequently. Ever since computers found there way into our businesses, we’ve been told to back up any important data regularly. Yet many of us let it slide. It’s vitally important to set a standard for backing up all files and training your staff to abide by the rules. Losing valuable data can devastate a company of any size.

If doing the above actions seems like a hassle, think about how much time and expense it would take to recover from a serious security breach. Prevention is always cheaper than the cure.