Welcome to our smart security blog, keeping your business’ security secure is important to Team Signable. One of the top benefits of using e-signature is that they’re so much more secure than filed paper copies. But there are other aspects of the business that need attention that can go overlooked. Which is why we’re sharing these tips from Joseph Mack of smarthomeSAGE on how you can keep your company’s info safe…
How to Protect Your Smart Office from Hackers
We don’t think of small businesses as sophisticated technological operations, but in our high-tech world, there are few areas where technology doesn’t have a role to play in our lives. Even the small corner music store relies on an internet connection to access credit card systems and to publish its modest online store for the world to see. Gone are the days of small businesses that had very little contact with anyone outside of their small little towns.
Integrating your small business with the online world may be great for growth, but it also leaves you open and vulnerable to attacks from unscrupulous groups and individuals that want to take advantage of your success for their own benefit. Small business owners have to take their network security seriously and with the growth in affordable smart security options, they don’t have to make unsavoury compromises.
Your Smart Devices Are Vulnerable
Being smart about the cybersecurity of your small business is a lot more than simply installing virus protection software on your computer and forgetting about it. Small businesses are adopting smart technology a lot quicker than households to help them save money and that’s a good thing, but it also leaves them vulnerable to attack. You may not think of that smart thermostat and smart lighting system as portals for hackers, but they can be. You connect these devices to your smartphones and hackers can exploit that to gain access to your phone, smart door lock (giving virtually limitless access to your office) and/or video intercom revealing a lot of sensitive information about your business.
Virtual Private Network Firewalls
The problem with these smart devices being used by small businesses is that they don’t have very good security systems and even if they do have password protection most business owners simply use the factory defaults they are set with. That’s a mistake. You need to change passwords as soon as you set up a device and again every few months. Hackers are well aware of the generic passwords these devices normally use. The other thing you can do is to invest in a router with built-in VPN firewall protection. This may cost a little more upfront but the potential savings for your company in the long run from protecting yourself from hackers is immeasurable. If all of your wireless smart devices are connected to the internet through a high-security router your system will be protected from hackers.
A Comprehensive Plan Communicated with Employees
We’ve already mentioned the need to change passwords on your smart devices regularly and you need to do this for all software and computers your business uses to connect to the internet as well. This policy needs to be communicated with all of your employees and they need to understand the importance of these actions. It’s a good idea to come up with an entire set of policies and procedures for connected devices in your workplace and everyone has to know about them and buy into the plan. It only takes one employee not following procedures to leave you vulnerable to attack.
Keep Virus Protection and Operating Systems Up to Date
A comprehensive security plan is about more than just changing passwords – it involves keeping virus protection on company computers up to date at all times, updating operating systems, and updating software such as web browsers. Hackers are always analyzing computer systems for vulnerabilities and software companies have to constantly upgrade their systems to try and stay ahead of the curve. That’s why you’re always receiving notices about security patch releases for your software and operating systems. Don’t ignore these messages. At the earliest convenience make sure your systems are updated with the latest security patches. Again, make sure your other employees do the same.
It’s About Execution
The systems we’ve talked about above can be just as effective for any size business, but our special emphasis on small businesses is because these are the ones that are especially vulnerable. There’s an erroneous assumption amongst many small business owners that cybercriminals won’t target them because they don’t have much to offer – that type of thinking is just plain wrong. Many hackers can use your small business as a springboard to bigger and better things and they’re only too happy to use your lack of a comprehensive cybersecurity plan against you. All businesses both large and small need to have a comprehensive security plan in place and they need to execute it. The cyber-world is a bit unruly, kind of like the old wild west, but with a plan in place, you can survive and thrive in such a climate.
This is a guest post by Joseph Mack from smarthomeSAGE, a blog that analyses the impact that smart home technology has on home life.