• George Dullege

The Weakest Link - Security and Your Business

The security of your business relies totally on you and your team.

It starts when your employees get a list of responsibilities and policies and procedures that describe their place in the team, the actions they take and their use of the company's technology.

The list should also include security as a key item.

One of the most obvious forms of security comes with physically locking the building when the last person leaves. Sometimes that responsibility belongs to the business owner, more often a junior employee. Locking the door makes it less likely that you will be burgled overnight. It doesn't necessarily stop a determined individual, but it works most of the time. Decades ago there was little more you could or needed to do other than storing important documents in a vault.

Today your office is often open twenty-four hours a day providing some service day and night on the internet. Maybe you just make known the types of services your offer or perhaps you have systems in place that take orders and collect customer details to enhance your ability to serve them whenever they feel the need. Either way, now you have new doors to lock. These doors are not a simple as the one you routinely enter and leave each day. These doors are software operated, and as simple as they look, they are not. They are complex, ever changing and sometimes vulnerable.

It was once said that taking $20 from an ATM takes over 600 thousand computer instructions to complete. Sometimes the interaction of these instructions makes it possible to circumvent important controls. It is these interactions that hackers look for, and use, to get into your business.

While most movies make hacking look simple, it usually isn't. The hacker can only look for a known weakness. The weakest link is usually the people. Predictable passwords are a starting point. Passwords written on a post it note are good if you have access to the building. Even making a phone call masquerading as an IT tech can often get people to reveal a password or even give control to someone remotely.

People are much easier to hack than systems.

Vigilance is the key. Simple processes can keep your business much safer than others.

1. Never reveal passwords, and change them regularly

2. Never write passwords on post it notes or anywhere else a visitor might see

3. Never open links in emails if you are not absolutely certain of their origin

4. If in doubt call IT and ask a question, better to reveal a problem than hide a disaster

All of these actions could save your job, or even your business.

Finally when all else fails, having a backup of your systems could be the difference between downtime and a failed business.

If you have any questions about security or backups please do not hesitate to ring 1300 788 268.


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