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Internet Security Tips for Small Businesses

As small businesses and organizations continue to integrate the use of the Internet and email into their daily routines and to make them a vital part of their business communications, it is important that owners and managers seriously consider security of their systems and servers. Big business has already addressed Internet security, spending millions and millions of dollars to protect their business information on their internal networks. Small businesses do not have to risk being easy targets, and may take some inexpensive measures that will provide basic, yet comprehensive security.

A Total Solution

  • Start with a good assessment of your current security profile, and outline needed updates
  • Develop a plan for educating all staff about the need for security and consequences of by-passing security protocol
  • Require regular reviews to determine if your security continues to measure up against the most current types of attacks.

Install a total solution. If you're securing an in-house system don't just put up a firewall. A firewall alone will not provide the complete security you need. Firewalls will secure a perimeter, but work best in concert with intrusion detection, and sound user policy management.

Plan regular reviews of your security. Each aspect should be assessed and updated regularly. The longer your security plan has been in place and successful, the more likely that employees may become lax in following established procedures. Technology changes, and hackers come up with newer and better ways to break through security measures.

Keep Up-to-Date

Update your Web server software regularly. Stay on top of security updates and patches. These are often available free over the Web. Make sure you're always running the latest version of your virus and security software. This is essential to stay ahead of hackers, who are certainly working to stay ahead of you.

Policies & Procedures

When an employee leaves a company or organization, remove the employee's network access immediately. Just as you ask departing employees to turn in their keys to the front door, you should eliminate their key to your network when they leave and change any key passwords they used.

Disgruntled employees are the greatest threat to any systems' security. If you allow people to work at home, provide a secure, centrally managed server for remote traffic. Telecommuting has many advantages: it can increase worker satisfaction and productivity. But, it also presents a security challenge. It makes little sense to spend valuable resources on a security system for your Web site if you allow people to dial-in to your network without proper security considerations in place.

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