Hanrick Curran is an advocate for healthy businesses. In the digital world we operate in, data security is imperative. We requested our head of Information Technology, Chris Holland, to compile his top 5 tips for business owners to increase the overall security of your business computers and the network they rely on.
The data on your computers is a valuable asset and should be protected in the same way as any other business asset.
- Default Usernames and Passwords Your printer, internet router, Wifi and other devices all come with a pre-installed default account consisting of a username and password. This default account is generally used so you can configure the device without IT's input or assistance. Theses account details are usually 'admin' and 'password' and are a very simple way for a hacker to gain access to the device.Key Message: Always change the default accounts password as the first step in configuring a device.
- Windows XPMicrosoft's Windows XP was a very popular operating system throughout both commercial and residential applications. Windows XP went into an End of Life status on 1 April 2014. This means Microsoft no longer supports or fixes any issues or vulnerabilities that arise out of Windows XP. Even with a fully updated and protected Windows XP computer you are placing your business at risk of infection.Key Message: Upgrade or Replace all Windows XP computers.
- Anti-VirusYou've likely heard it a thousand times but ensuring your anti-virus is up to date and running is critical to your computer and your network. Malicious users will often stop or mimic updates to your anti-virus. This creates a false sense of security whereby you think it's all ok as the software reports everything is fine but under the covers it's chaos and creating a security black hole.Key Message: Find your anti-virus providers 'Checklist for health' and run through it often.
- PasswordsStrong passwords are crucial. A 6 letter simple password can be autonomously hacked in under 3 hours. Add a special character and the time is increased to 3 months. Add 2 special characters and it's over 1 year. It's important to use a quality password each and every time you need one. Don't reuse the same password for different services. If that password is hacked you are far more exposed.
- Your StaffYour staff are critical to the overall protection of your computer, the computer network and your business data. Instil a culture of security best practice. Start with good passwords and locking of screens when not in use. Keep devices locked away when not in use. Don't use post-it notes for username or password storage.Key Message: Good logical security starts with good physical security.
Please contact your usual Hanrick Curran adviser on 07 3218 3900 if you require any support in actioning these tips.