Data is everything. Gone are the days of prospectors digging for gold in hills. Soon, thanks to electric cars and other transportation advances, oil will be left in the ground where it belongs.

Today, data is the new gold rush. And soon it will be the new oil fields. Data alone is responsible for driving growth, allowing businesses to differentiate themselves, and make market predictions. Like I said, data is everything!

Finally, after many long battles, lawsuits, and data breaches, Governments are starting to realize this, too. In Europe, there is GDPR, and in Canada we have PIPEDA. These are both Government regulations mandated to help with the protection of consumer data. Corporations need to be held accountable for the data they hold, and to protect it as such.

To help you navigate the confusing world of Cybersecurity, crime, and data, I have created this list of the top 3 things I believe every business owner should do to protect their data.

Firewall

A firewall will act as your first line of defense and provide a layer of security for your establishment. It will filter all your incoming web traffic and help to keep out the majority of unwanted attention. With a firewall, you have a multitude of options available to help increase your security. For starters, if you like to work from home a lot, you can create a Virtual Private Network to allow for remote connection.

With a firewall, you are also able to limit/ restrict who can access certain websites, etc. If you find your staff are browsing the web a lot instead of working, you can ban access to those websites. If you want to let your staff browse personally on their own time, you can set up exceptions for lunch/ break time. You can even limit certain computers from accessing certain websites. Does finance need access to a webpage that sales doesn’t? No problem!

These type of devices come with subscriptions and are actively managed and updated to keep your business continually protected. I recommend to every single one of my clients that they install a firewall. If you haven’t installed one yet, you’re opening your business up to a lot of potential trouble.

Managed Antivirus

It is always a good idea for people to have an antivirus installed on all their PC’s. I know a lot of clients tell me that they have some type of antivirus installed, which is great! However, when using these programs, updates tend to be ignored by the company. For example, if you purchased one 3 years ago, there is a chance that no critical updates have gone through since then. This means that you are opening your PCs up to 3 years of brand new viruses, malware, etc. (Which also means you have paid for something and you are not getting 100% of your money’s worth out of it!)

Managed Antivirus is an easy, inexpensive and very useful tool that every business owner should be taking advantage of. With this you get constant updates on all your computers to keep your antivirus up-to-date. This means that we monitor your PC and your antivirus to ensure everything is being updated properly. This will ensure that your antivirus is always up-to-date with the latest security features.

End User Training

There is only so much that advanced tools and technology can do to keep your business protected. The rest is up to your staff knowing how to detect threats when they see them. For example, you can install 15 locks on your front door, but if your staff don’t know how to lock them, or if they don’t know how to differentiate between a criminal and a customer, then what is the purpose of having so many locks?

There many different aspects that your team needs to be aware of when it comes to cybersecurity. For starters, how to detect a fraud email when they see one. Do you or your staff know what to look for in a phishing email? How about in embedded URL links? Do you know what to do in the event of a data breach? Have you worked out a disaster recovery plan with your team?

The list of training topics for cybersecurity can seem endless (and trust me it is almost endless!). Every day there is a new cyber threat, a new hack, breach, etc. Criminals are out there working just as hard as us good guys to find ways into tricking you or your staff into falling for their con.

Without proper staff training, without teaching your staff the do’s and don’ts, without showing them what to do in case of an emergency, you might as well not lock any door at all!

How MicroAge Can Help

MicroAge has a full staff of highly skilled, highly certified managers, technicians, and representatives all ready and willing to help you and your staff stay safe in the cyber world. With our knowledge and expertise in all things IT related, you can be sure you’re in the best hands!

If you have any questions about firewalls, antivirus programs, or training, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We are always more than happy to help anyone, big or small!


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