What kind, and how much, local network, online, computer and mobile device security is needed for a small office or home business?
The main thing to consider is the fact that all small business computer systems are vulnerable to some degree, and security of any kind can be breached. This presents an often discouraging dilemma for small business owners and managers. Very often, putting in packaged security programs means unintentionally locking out essential services. You often sacrifice productivity and convenience for more security. Throwing money at expensive software and installing it with the expectations of ‘Wall-E being AI’ without the experience to configure it, and find the right balance, can be frustrating at best. Hiring an IT company that specializes in security for small business computer systems can be very expensive and may not be cost effective in the end.
I recommend a happy medium between winging it alone, or letting a high cost computer and mobile device security company milk your bank account.
First, security risks in a small office can be managed effectively with basic security measures (see below) that don’t require a lot of technical experience, just basic research and honest effort. A few examples of this would be, not saving private information in browsers, installing a reputable anti-malware program to actively scan your production workstations, among many others. And also, common sense precautions against “human error” malware or ransomware file downloads, or email “phishing” scams can filter out the most obvious of them. Using a cautiously wary approach akin to “I wasn’t born yesterday” can go a long way.
Second, get some help from a small business computer and mobile device security company that has its priorities in the right order. A. Solve the security problem. B. Implement the solution to your satisfaction, and the best of their ability, C. Test and verify. E. Proactively solve, rather than worry and fret about computer security or any IT challenge. When all major projects are accomplished, then, D. Worry about marketing and up-selling the new Client (it should almost be an afterthought).
Key computer and mobile device security guidelines for a small office network:
Full, frequent, backups of all important production files and databases.
Offsite or Off-network duplicate backup of production files and databases.
Never download attachments or click on a link from any unsolicited email
Never download any files from untrusted websites without verifiable CA certificate.
Make sure Windows, or Operating System, Firewall is turned on and update regularly.
Anti-Malware software that updates and actively scans for installations and intrusions.
Set Internet Browsers to erase cookies and temporary files (don’t save passwords, etc.)
Never install add-ons, toolbars, or unnecessary “convenience” plugins in Internet Browser
Limit Production Folder sharing to production users only.
Unique passwords on Server and Production comps (8-char, alpha, numeric, symbol)
Don’t use iframes (on main traffic web pages) there are site security issues associated with them
Use a remote VPN computer service that is secure, efficient, and private.
There are many more, some that are easy to implement, and others that require some technical expertise, but on the whole more research and perseverance than anything else.