International Computer Security Day

International Computer Security Day for 2019 falls on Saturday 30th November – why not use it as a prompt to review the current state of your computer security.

There are lots of things you can and should do to make sure you are protected from crippling and expensive data loss, system corruption, blackmail or loss of business. We’ve put together a brief outline of some of the positive actions you can take to improve the security of your computer systems:

  • Educate users to recognise phishing attacks – prevention is better than cure. Users, probably employees, are your business’ best defence against phishing attacks. Train them what to look for, what to be suspicious of and how to contain any potential threat. Teach them to avoid automatically clicking URL links within an email, but to first question their validity. Coach them in questioning the legitimacy of incoming emails and any file attachments before downloading or opening them. A recent report issued in the UK found that 60% of reported data breaches were down to human error. User awareness is a key component of your computer security regime.
  • Upgrade your operating system to Windows 10 version 1909 (just released) – a rule of thumb is that each new release of an operating system protects you better than the one before. As soon as an operating system is released, scammers and hackers are immediately looking for ways to bypass the inbuilt security systems. Keep ahead of them by moving to the latest version.
  • Apply outstanding Windows updates – whichever version of Windows you are running, try to ensure you apply updates as they become available.
  • Update your MS Office suite and third-party applications (e.g. Chrome, Adobe) – these are the applications you use all the time and upon which your business depends. Updates to these suites of programs are being released regularly and your business will be much better protected if you apply them as soon as possible.
  • Confirm that your anti-virus/anti-malware product is working – Keep your security software updated with the latest threat profiles. Ensure your security system is always switched on and is scanning all incoming emails and other files.
  • Replace your old computer – upgrade your machine on a regular basis. Best practice is to have a redundancy plan in place where you automatically replace old and/or obsolete hardware. You’ll not only be better protected but more productive with an up-to-date machine. With a bit of knowledge and some common sense we can all access the bargains offered in the Black Friday sales. Happy bargain-hunting!

Much of this is common sense but is easily overlooked or forgotten altogether. Use this International Computer Security Day as the trigger for a thorough review of your computer security and commit to taking the necessary steps to fully protect your system.

Partnering with a reputable and experienced IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) is the optimum way of ensuring your computer security is kept up to date. With a managed service plan in place you’ll have peace-of-mind knowing that security isn’t a once-a-year afterthought, but a 365 days-per-year necessity where updates are applied automatically, your security is always ‘on’ and procedures are in place to regularly review and test the security status of your hardware and software environment.

If you want help and advice on managed service plans or any aspect of ensuring your computer security is effective, contact us here at The IT Agency on (02) 8317 4730.