Tuesday, August 10, 2010

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How To Protect Your Business Information In An Secure Way

Every day, your users work with information that is valuable to your business. However, this same information—including your customer databases, product price lists, and financial information—is constantly at risk of discovery. 
You see the reports in the papers nearly every day: laptops are stolen, removable hard drives are sent to the wrong recipient. Savvy businesses realize they need help to secure their business information and protect it from inadvertent or deliberate disclosure.
It’s critical to take the steps necessary to protect an online business against hackers who could steal vital information, or viruses which could bring your computer system – and your business — to its knees. Of course no system is foolproof. If someone is absolutely determined to break into your system, given enough time and money, they likely can. But it’s wise to put as many safeguards in place as possible, so that hackers will look for easier targets. What follows is a few steps security specialists recommend that business owners take to protect their systems.
Keeping sensitive business information secure is one of the most important strategies a company can put in place. It’s important to have various methods in place that will keep businesses out of harm’s way, confidential information hidden, and avoid any down time due to system failures.

Digital lock security
There are several effective ways to protect sensitive business information and keep it away from harmful computer breaches or individuals, whether the harm is intentional or not. Once these systems are in place, frequent maintenance will ensure they work and deliver optimal service for a long time. Your company needs to consider the following:

Use Firewalls
  • Firewalls act like fences.
  • They keep information inside the fence, or your computer system, protected and private. They block dangerous viruses from contaminating information.
  • They’re useful in protecting computer systems or a network.
  • Their primary job is to block any unauthorized access to a system by allowing only authorized communications.
A firewall is not a complete block to applications, but it acts on pre-set criteria of rules to determine when to grant access and when to deny it.

File Encryption
When would file encryption be a necessary application? Encrypting files is a good practice that can keep business information secure.
  • It will not allow third parties to view information that is sent or shared via networks.
  • File encryption prevents unauthorized parties from viewing information and sensitive data.
The most common use for file encryption is to secure financial information, such as credit cards or bank account numbers, but a business can use encryption for any information it wants to keep secure.

Secure Servers for Communicating
Using publicly viewed and accessible applications like webmail leaves a business vulnerable to hack attacks. A secure server, like a hosted exchange, can provide a higher level of security. Many businesses prefer to use secure servers to access communications platforms to reduce the possibility of the public viewing secure information.

Updated Operating Systems
A business can implement maximum-security measures by keep its operating systems updated, current, and fully functional. There are numerous windows of opportunity to breach a network when the operating system has passed its prime or has minor glitches in it.

Dedicated Computers
It’s advisable to use only one computer to store important, sensitive information for a business. When several computers hold different pieces of important data, the possibility of someone or something gaining access to the information increases.

Secure Lines
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) certainly has advantages for a business, but in terms of security, it may not be the best communication choice. The nature of VoIP exposes data transmission and information to third parties. Using a dedicated, secure line guarantees a business a layer of protection that other communication choices compromise.

Protecting a business is almost more important than the actual business itself. Having confidential and secure information leaked to third parties can be detrimental to your brand and name. It’s naïve to not take the right steps in securing your important data- so make sure you look into all of the above.

Change default passwords and account names in place when your computer system was installed.
Installing a machine or software out of the box without reconfiguring it for security is one of the most common security mistakes that online businesses make, but it’s one that’s easily corrected. Failing to make these changes makes it simple for hackers to gain access since they know or can determine what these original settings are.

Limit access of sensitive information to those who need to see it. Special software can detect unusual patterns of activity in the computer system. There is also software that can monitor outbound communications to make sure certain information isn’t leaking out. For businesses whose employees need remote access to the company computer system, require more than just a user name and password to gain access — for instance, a token that displays a second password that changes regularly.

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About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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