Online security for businesses and organisations has been very topical in the past week, in the wake of the significant security issues experienced by NHS England amongst other health bodies. This has placed a great deal of emphasis on the security of systems, with many businesses feeling the urgent need to look more closely at how they operate and whether there might be comparable flaws in their own IT set-ups- and rightly so.
With this concern in mind, we thought we’d take a look at the risks of security threats and the benefits of having an experienced team of professionals working along side you when it comes to protecting your business from threats.
The importance of security: what are the risks?
Technology has opened up some great opportunities and possibilities for businesses and non profit organisations alike. Whilst we’re natural appreciators of exactly what this development can offer, we recognise the need to guard against the serious problems which security threats can cause.
Firstly, there is a notable threat to privacy and confidentiality. This was one of the first concerns to be raised by many commentators when the breach of security for NHS England became clear last week. With all the private and confidential information stored on their systems the question was asked as to whether this was now at risk and could personal information become vulnerable? In this case, the attack wasn’t directed at the data storage systems themselves, but instead rendered many individual computers within the set-up as unusable, causing severe disruption. Some malware however, does target seemingly protected data. Whether it is about a patient, a client, or other sensitive information that needs to be protected. Without proper systems in place to guard against invasive threats, information could be stolen or leaked and this is an understandable concern for many businesses.
The loss of data more generally is a real problem for business who need masses of information to operate. Companies which create data models or businesses who rely heavily on statistical analysis in how they operate are especially vulnerable to disruption from malware and ransomware designed to deny access to information or Trojan horse viruses built to delete information and disrupt systems. As well as protecting against invasive malware, another side minimising the effect of such viruses is by having secure backups of data and materials in a location that is separate and insular from the other.
Also to be considered is the potential loss of activity and revenue to your business from downtime due to security breaches. Whether it’s an inability to use machines due to breaches such as those that occurred in the recent NHS threat, or through data loss, the potential productivity of your business is at risk if you aren’t properly protected by a comprehensive system of security. Without the necessary guards in place, many have previously been backed into a corner and had to pay to release their machines from ransomware and there is no guarantee that the word of cyber criminals will be kept.
What does a proper security system allow?
The way we use technology within business is changing all the time and has become increasingly sophisticated. Many companies have now moved into cloud storage for data and documents, as it offers far greater storage capacity, and often better performance, compared with the physical systems previously preferred. This has saved many business a great deal on the costs of maintaining the traditional physical means of storing information and has lowered the barrier to entry to many sectors for younger businesses. A proper security protocol allows for these means of storage to be used safely and easily, so you can get the most out of the evolving technical landscape whilst protecting your business and information assets.
Similarly, it is now possible for team members to work with greater geographical flexibility. Using Virtual Private Networks has made working from home and accessing protected information and materials easier and safer. When implemented safely, such a network allows a great deal of freedom for your team, offering the flexibility that has transformed the way modern businesses operate and share information.
Perhaps equally importantly, having a team of experienced professionals in your corner allows you to work and to plan with peace of mind and the fullest understanding of how best to operate to keep yourself protected against potential threats. Working with ta team with expertise allows for a stronger grasp of the possibilities and arms you against the risks, giving you the assurance that you can develop your business without the constant concern of a security catastrophe.
How do professionals help?
Our lengthy hands on experience has given us a valuable understanding of the online security picture and where threats will come from. Our focus and knowledge prepares us to protect you and your business from threats that you might not have considered every step of the way.
One of the chief advantages of bringing a dependable team of experts in to support you is the way that we can anticipate threats and help to plan against them. To take another look at the well publicised recent NHS security breaches, these are believed to have been caused by using outdated operating systems on many machines that staff were having to use. Whilst much of the professional world is now using Windows 10, many machines being used by staff were severely outdated, and the necessary thought hadn’t been given to maintaining their security updates once Microsoft had stopped offering them automatically.
A well planned system keeps you ahead of the game, this is known as ‘leap frogging’ potential threats by not falling behind the game and anticipating where likely threats will come from. This requires a detailed technical understanding of your systems and any potential weaknesses which could be exploited which is an area of speciality for those of us who provide security professionally.
Remember that we’re always at the other end of the phone to advise and provide and guide you through the process when needed and have the solutions in place to prevent unauthorised access and modification. With firewalls and network detection tools, we have the systems in place to really safeguard your network and its assets against the ever changing threats that emerge. The landscape of internet security is always shifting, meaning you need a dynamic team of professionals who understand the territory and know how to protect your business.
Ilkley IT Services keep lots of businesses like yours safe and secure so that they never need worry about threats to their IT infrastructure. Please call us on 01943 601601 to find out more about how we can help you, or request a call back – we’ll be happy to help!