The words Corporate Security may conjure up images of a group of techies working in a wire-filled basement room of Microsoft or HP, combating hackers and terrorists online using words like algorithm and encryption.
If you own your own business, do not allow yourself to think that security is only for big corporations. Every company, big or small, technological or traditional, has two major security concerns: protecting information, and protecting hardware.
Corporate Security: Information
Information is the commodity that makes companies unique. That information could be a process your company does better than others; or it could be how to make the unique product you sell; or it could be a collection of information that you have that others want access to. In any case, protecting the information that makes your company viable could mean financial life or death for your venture. There are three simple corporate security solutions you can implement to decrease the likelihood that your information will be leaked or lost.
Make back ups often. If you are like 90% of computer users out there who use Windows, pressing [ctrl] + S is a habit well worth forming. Besides information, time is one of your most valuable resources, so you can’t afford to lose hours of work every time the system crashes. Save your work as often as you stop typing. Making additional copies of master files in other places beside your hard drive will mean you won’t lose everything if your hard drive becomes corrupted. Keep these discs in a safe place where you can easily access them if you need to.
Keep secret passwords secret. This may seem like a no-brainer, but too often we think of passwords as annoyances slowing us down. Systems are password-protected to ensure that only those persons who should be allowed access are granted access. If you are working out of a home office and have little face-to-face interaction with clients or customers, you may be tempted to leave your system unlocked or pin a list of your user names and passwords near the computer. Remember that children are both curious and smart, and in only a few clicks of the mouse they can accidentally erase important files. Do yourself the favor of memorizing your passwords and changing them on occasion.
Maintain an up-to-date computer system. Computers that run slower also have the terrible tendency of getting overloaded and shutting down. The internet is one of the biggest culprits of bogging down your processing speed, but running several programs at the same time will also do it. Keeping your processor and memory up-to-date will help ensure that you are able to perform all the tasks that are required of you without having to spend a lot of time waiting for your computer to catch up.
Corporate Security: Hardware
Chances are good that IBM’s annual technology budget is quite a bit larger than your home business’s budget. Between putting food on the table and covering the operating costs of your business, purchasing new equipment might seem like a luxury you’ll never have. Protecting your computer system from viruses, spy ware, and malicious software is one of the most cost-effective ways to ensure your computer will last as long as you need it to.
Know what is on your computer. Viruses can come through email, discs, or the internet, and are typically well-hidden on your hard drive. Perform systematic checks of the temporary internet files, cookies folder, and the rest of your hard drive to ensure that you have not accidentally picked up a virus. Software can be purchased that filters spam and helps you manage the internet files and cookies that are downloaded automatically on your computer. A proactive approach in combating viruses and spy ware is usually the most effective way to make sure your hardware stays protected.
Though corporate security solutions may seem like a luxury your home business can not afford, protecting information and hardware are priorities that all companies should have. Following these simple, inexpensive solutions to common security concerns your company may have will go a long way in helping you succeed.