IT can be an overwhelming asset for any business owner or CEO. In addition to providing an amazing product or service, fostering corporate culture, and hitting revenue goals, IT can get pushed to the bottom for any to-do list. In fact, it should be at the top. The right tools, plans and processes impact an organization’s bottom line, how clients interact with the organization, and employee productivity. Technology can slow a company down or push them across the finish line.
The key is understanding what services and tools are right for your business. What software will cost you time and money, or get the product out faster and payment in quicker.
Join us on Wednesday, February 22nd in Springdale, Arkansas for a Lunch + Learn. We will share our expertise, answer you questions, and help your company get a handle on IT solutions. Space is limited, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 17th to reserve your spot.
It is hard to believe we are three weeks into the New Year. Resolutions have been made – and broken – and progress made. What goals has your organization set for 2017? Is it culture-centric or does ‘growth’ have the thrown this year? No matter what your goals, the right technology is integral to cross the finish line. From staff communication tools to making sure a snow day never slows you down, having a plan in place makes all the difference.
Have you refreshed your passwords?
All the security breaches from 2016. 2017 will only get worse.
Is firming up client data a 2017 goal? Here are five signs their data is at risk.
Ransomware: Should you pay or should you go?
Do you know if your company is digitally secure? Doctors, lawyers, architects, accountants and other professionals in private practice are targeted most often. Developments in security and information technology are constantly evolving, so it’s best to be proactive and implement security procedures before something goes wrong.
As an experienced professional, you already know that from basic credit card information to legal documents to medical records, highly sensitive client materials should be handled with the utmost care. You wouldn’t have made it this far without your concern for protecting clients. However, there may be ways you’re making client data more vulnerable than you realize.
Below are signs you may need to beef up your IT security:
1. You haven’t hedged the physical space of your office to cover devices and files.
This is the most straightforward of security issues but is no less important. Keeping your physical assets secure looks like having procedures in place for who has access to certain office areas and devices at any given time. It also looks like ensuring every internet-capable device is protected with strong passwords and, where applicable, separate servers.
2. There’s only one location for data storage.
Whether it’s nightly, once a week or monthly, back up your data often. Make sure your backup server is in an off-site, secure location. Backups are the lifeblood of security, and a bad backup is as good as no backup. They also need to be tested frequently to ensure they’re running smoothly.
3. Your office never updates its software or devices.
Maintain computers and data storage systems by updating antivirus software, operating systems, apps, plugins and browsers with the latest versions to eliminate potential threats. System security is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring, evaluating and adjusting.
4. User access to client information hasn’t been limited.
Employees should only be able to see the minimum data required to function in their respective positions. Role-based security groups can be quickly set up with proper permissions for client and staff access. Remember to store sensitive client data in a place that’s separate from less sensitive documents. Plus, reviewing document sharing practices is always a good idea. End-to-end encryption and portals or temporary file 1 exchange options can add a lot of peace of mind.
5. There’s no plan of action for server failure, compromised servers or a security breach.
An experienced managed service provider will analyze your business plan and offer customized IT solutions for your particular needs. Implementing services like cloud backups, business continuity planning, network security and stabilization, vulnerability assessments and more should all be a part of the deal for the most comprehensive coverage.
You shouldn’t have to piece together data security on your own. You have enough on your plate. IT security from the right managed service provider will protect your business, your clients and your employees and will give you one less thing to worry about.
If you need a reliable IT Support and Computer Services company, take a look at Kirkham Systems. We provide customized IT solutions for highly effective businesses and organizations all over the Northwest Arkansas area.
The theme we are continuing to see – and put a lot of time into – is security. Knowing threats, finding solutions, and being a part of the conversation is crucial at Kirkham Systems. Wishing you all a happy and healthy Memorial Day weekend!
I was having lunch with a couple of buddies the other day. We were discussing the FBI versus Apple issue when one brought out the old “I have nothing to hide argument” when discussing government surveillance and privacy.
The argument that you have nothing to hide is a fallacy. Everyone has something to hide or secure from others. Passwords, credit card numbers, keys, smart phones, websites visited, emails – the list is long.
There are several rebuttals to this statement, but I’ll just list a couple:
- Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.
- The right to privacy is the right to self. You “own” you. You decide when you want to share you and when you don’t. It is really just that simple.
Glenn Greenwald speaks to the issue in much more depth and with greater eloquence than I, but whenever he hears the argument, his reply is this: “Here’s my email address. What I want you to do when you get home is email me the passwords to all of your email accounts, not just the nice, respectable work one in your name, but all of them, because I want to be able to just troll through what it is you’re doing online, read what I want to read and publish whatever I find interesting. After all, if you’re not a bad person, if you’re doing nothing wrong, you should have nothing to hide.”
What Greenwald is proposing is a person-to-person request to disclose. It has context. In that environment, the person thinking about releasing access to all his email accounts immediately considers context, and how the requesting party – not a law enforcement agency – may view and/or use whatever is discovered. Careers and lives can be destroyed by divulging secrets that while not illegal, can certainly be embarrassing. Giving anyone the ability to surveil you makes all of each less secure, because if there is anything we’ve learned from the past few decades of internet, it’s that data wants to be free. Once one party has the data, others are sure to find it.
So see, it’s about context. When talking about the state, or specifically, the USA, it is assumed that you are only talking about terrorism or other illegal things that the USA is looking for. But that isn’t what hackers are looking for.
Private lives matter.
Still not sure if this applies to you? Well let’s walk through it.
At Kirkham Systems we recommend a VPN on all devices as an additional layer of security. They allow for more secure usage when connecting to the internet: at home or in public.