Businesses are increasingly relying on the internet for work tasks yet according to a survey by NCSA and Symantec 87% of small business do not have a formal internet security policy and 59% do not have a plan for responding to a data breach or loss. Yet so these are no small statistics.

Here are 5 steps you can take to prevent a problem before it occurs.

Layer Your Security

In addition to strong anti-virus and internet security software you may want to add other layers of protection. Steps in layering include utilizing a business-class firewall, blocking internet traffic to inappropriate websites, monitoring inbound and outbound network traffic, scanning all devices that can be attached to the network including USB drives and mobile devices.

Secure your laptops and mobile devices

Because of their portable nature, laptops, iPad and smartphones are at t higher risk of being lost or stolen than average company desktops. It’s important to take some extra steps to make certain your sensitive data is protected on mobile devices.

Encryption software changes the way information looks on the hard drive so that, without the correct password, it can’t be read.


Backup regularly to local or offsite storage location.

Schedule regular backups to an external hard drive are a painless way to ensure that all your data is stored safely. Unlike a public cloud, where your data is stored on someone else’s server – a private cloud gives you full security control of your data.

The schedule for servers and desktop is generally to have complete backup weekly and incremental backups every night. (“However long you could live without your data).

Getting your data compromised is a painful experience – having it all backed up so you don’t completely lose it will make it much less of a nightmare.

Upgrade unsupported Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 Computers and Servers.

Support for Windows XP ended April 8th 2014 and End of Support for Windows Server 2003 is July 14th 2015.

Businesses using Windows Server 2003 (after July 14th) and Windows XP are now at high risk for security threats. Upgrading these computers and servers will restore a higher level of security to the network. Microsoft warns that End of supports includes the end of patches, no updates, and no security fixes or customer support. This puts your computers at risk of compromise through both malicious attacks and data breaches.

 Establish a Network Security Policy

Without a written network policy, employees may never know that they could be causing a security problem. Establish a policy for both the computers inside your business, and the personal devices (laptops, tablets and smartphones) that employees bring into the business from home. Without it, employees may inadvertently download malicious files on their personal computer when browsing at home. When they connect to the office network you risk that malicious files spread to computers connected to the network. So having a policy can educate employees and mitigate costly security threats. Policies should include guideline for use of passwords, wireless network, remote users, surfing the internet, etc.

Educate yourself on these security measures. Make sure your employees understand how important your company’s data is, and all the measures they can take to protect it.

Know Your Risk

If you’re interested in learning more about upgrading your network and improving network security you can download our free booklet – How to Avoid Unnecessary Expensive Network Upgrade.