How to pay little and win big with small business IT security

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 2/19/13 9:10 AM

cheap IT security

Cyber attacks target small businesses more and more often. Many small businesses have access to hundreds, sometimes thousands, of credit card numbers and the information needed to use those numbers. Small businesses lack the resources of large corporations leaving them more vulnerable to cyber threats. Small business data security must be a top priority, to protect customer financial information. A major breach requires a business to notify their customers of the incident which reduces customer loyalty. Two very inexpensive options can help you install the necessary protections, without a fully staffed IT department: Managed antivirus protection and a monitored firewall.


Why Choose Managed Antivirus Services?

Antivirus software creates a defense between your systems and malicious coding attacks. Most attacks do not specifically target anyone, but are broad phishing expeditions. A keystroke logger embedded in an image file can allow hackers to capture logins and passwords. Anything that enables remote access to your system puts your data at risk. Hackers constantly release new and updated versions of viruses and other malware, so you need to be sure that your antivirus software also stays updated. Sure, there are a few free software options, but managed antivirus services offer some distinct advantages.
  1. Auditing of updates to ensure every computer and network has the most up-to-date virus definitions.
  2. Constant oversight to reduce the risk of a user disabling the software.
  3. Maintenance performed when it is convenient for your business.
This low-cost solution helps minimize malware attacks with a price point any business can manage. Small business IT security can come with a very high price tag, but managed antivirus services offer a way to spend a little and get a lot.

Is a Monitored Firewall the Way to Go?

A proper corporate firewall determines what information can enter and leave your network. It limits the number of open ports and filters out high risk websites. Much of this happens on a completely automated basis. Once certain definitions are set up, it runs itself. However, even with automation, many businesses need more direct control. An unmonitored firewall repels attacks without noticing patterns or anticipating future problems. It also limits web activity. If your business needs to access a "questionable" website, you might need to relax your security to do so. Once you relax your security, you create a weak point for hackers to exploit. A monitored firewall has alerting setup to make your IT provider aware there is suspicious activity happening. This allows their security experts to quickly log onto the system and look for signs of probes on open and unused ports, detect hidden packets and take pro-active steps to cut off access. A monitored firewall also allows you to make exceptions where necessary and still have eyes on all Internet activity, keeping your systems safe and secure.

Spend a Little on IT Security to Avoid Spending a Lot

The two most crucial elements to any data security protection plan are your firewall and antivirus software. A security breach could cost your company a lot in time, money and lost business. The best way to avoid a breach is through a solid company data security plan. Use managed antivirus software to ensure every system stays updated on virus definitions, and use a monitored firewall to detect and prevent unwanted intrusions.

Data Risk Assessment

Topics: IT Outsourcing, Small Business IT Security