How Managed IT Can Protect Your Business Against Hackers
Cyber security has changed a lot in the past decade. The technology used by hackers has become exponentially more sophisticated, forcing businesses to arm themselves with equally powerful cyber security just to keep their data safe.
While most larger companies nowadays have their cyber security in check, many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) remain a prime, wide-open target for prowling hackers.
It’s never been more important to equip your business with comprehensive cyber security. Cloud backup and free anti-virus is usually not enough; you need a well-implemented anti-virus tool that is constantly updating to keep up with the latest threats.
That’s where managed IT comes in. In this article, we’ll cover some of the specific ways in which managed IT can protect your business against hackers.
Why Managed IT?
As a business owner, you shouldn’t be expected to navigate and keep up to date with the many complexities of cyber security. It’s a complicated and ever-changing landscape, and it can be difficult to know where to start.
Your managed IT provider’s job is to take care of everything for you. As experts in cyber security, they can implement up-to-date solutions and actively manage procedures that protect your files and eliminate any security risks – without adding extra steps to your workflow and without draining your budget.
How managed IT can help prevent hacks
Keeping your network under lock and key
There are a number of ways in which hackers can access your network, one of the most prevalent being a technique called war driving.
War driving is as ominous as it sounds. It is when hackers outfit their cars with powerful antennas and drive around scanning for poorly protected networks. If your WiFi is unsecured, it is basically asking for the war drivers to swoop in and breach your network.
So what can a managed IT provider do to help protect your network against war driving? Firstly, they can disable the service set identifier (SSID) broadcasting function on your wireless routers, which will keep your network hidden from WiFi snoops. Then it’s a case of using up-to-date encryption keys and non-obvious passwords to keep it under lock and key.
Using anti-malware and antivirus programs
These are an absolute must. A number of viruses, mostly ransomware, have devastated businesses all around the world in recent years, and antivirus software is our only real defence against them.
Ransomware is a particularly vicious piece of software that infects your computers and mobiles, encrypts any file it can find, and then holds the data within those files to ransom. This is now a £10 billion-a-year industry; the payouts demanded by the hackers have frequently been reported to be in the millions, and more often than not, affected companies find themselves with no choice but to pay.
It’s a scary time for any business, but you needn’t feel completely vulnerable. In response to ransomware, some brilliant software such as Intercept X by Sophos has emerged, all but guaranteeing the safety of your data.
Having said that, the ransomware situation is fast-moving and complex; it takes a skilled managed IT provider to keep your business safe with the latest and greatest antivirus programs.
Eliminating the human element by training your employees
While a fully armed cyber security system is going to be your strongest line of defence, it’s also important to make sure your employees are clued in on good cyber practices.
For example, employees can be trained to recognise fraudulent emails. For hackers, having people inside the business opening or clicking on dodgy links or attachments is one of the easiest and most common ways to gain access to a network. By making sure your employees are aware that these fraud emails exist, you greatly reduce the risk of your business being breached.
But there’s a lot more than just emails to consider. There should also be a more broad education regarding the various precautions an employee can take to protect the business.
A managed IT provider can provide this education in the form of cybersecurity workshops. The more your employees know about cyber security, the less likely human error is to compromise your business.
Make sure your data is secure, encrypted and backed-up
The ultimate goal of a hacker is to steal or make money. That means they’re very likely to target things like bank details and credit card accounts. If not properly secured, a skilled hacker could gain access to sensitive financial information whilst barely breaking a sweat.
Tools such as BitLocker and FileVault come in very handy when it comes to keeping your data and your money secure. They come as an included feature on most modern operating systems and work by encrypting your data to keep it safe from prying eyes. You can turn these on yourself quite easily, but this alone will probably not be enough to guarantee the security of your data.
Backing up your systems is just as important, if not more, important as encryption. Moreover, you’ll want to ensure that your business has an off-site backup as well as an on-site. A backup procedure can be carried out at least once a week to consistently protect yourself against the various threats to your data, be it a hack, a hardware failure, or a natural disaster.
Protect your business today with managed IT
That’s a whirlwind tour of cyber security; we’ve barely scratched the surface. There are many threats out there in the cyber world, and your best chance of defending against them is to work with a skilled, reliable managed IT provider whose job it is to keep up to date with the latest trends.
Liberate IT is your dedicated IT hub, providing you with 24/7 peace of mind. Our experts have all the knowledge and tools to protect your business from hackers trying to breach your network. On top of that, we can use secure off-site servers to back up your data. So if a random disaster should occur, you won’t have to worry about losing your data or suffering prolonged periods of downtime.
Get in touch today to protect your business and gain full peace of mind.