I want to comment on the importance of IT and IT Security, specifically within the small business realm. A small business is really any business from 1-50 employees, and this can be a church, non-profit or a for profit business. From a priority standpoint, business that accept credit card information are the primary concern. Here are some tips that you might find helpful.
#1 – Assess your Risk – What kind of data do you handle? How is that data handled and protected? Who has access to that data and under what circumstances?
#2 – Create Layers of Security – This is a mix of anti-virus, anti-malware, spam filtering and firewall management. If you can create multiple layers with different vendors, you dramatically reduce the threat. Combine this with a managed service and you’re starting to develop a rock solid infrastructure.
#3 – Plan for data loss or theft – Be prepared and develop a plan for how your business will respond to this. It’s allot easier to do this before it happens rather than trying to think through things when you’re caught up in trying to mitigate the threat.
#4 – Backup you data – The majority of small businesses will fail as the result of a IT intrusion or hack due to the lack of adequate backups. Backup your critical data and test your restoration capabilities.
#5 – Dump the consumer firewalls – Small businesses need to utilize non-consumer grade devices to run their infrastructure. It’s very tempting to just run out to the big box store and just get the cheapest thing you can find. There are a number of features and capabilities that the non-consumer grade firewalls lack that you need with the larger firewalls. It doesn’t always mean you’ll break the budget for one, but be sure you investigate this area carefully before proceeding.