Nearly all businesses have a computer these days, but not enough of them have them properly set up. While having a computer helps you keep core aspects of your business running -- correspondence, accounts payable & receivable, and more -- it needs to be working for YOU as well. Every business should have a security audit done on their computer system, even if it is just one machine. What will a security audit look at?
What would a security breach mean to your business?
What WOULD a security breach mean to you & your business? It could mean several things -- a loss of your customer data, your business data (accounting records, blueprints, product information), even employee downtime. There is also a question of any liability associated with loss of confidential and important information from both employees, vendors and within your organization. Even if you managed to be able to recover from these problems, would you be able to overcome a loss of customer confidence or lost business from such a breach?
Are you in compliance with security regulations that govern your business?
There have been several security regulations enacted in the last 10 or so years that have a huge impact on your businesses data and record-keeping. Remember Enron? Since then, your business may be responsible for adhering to Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPPA, or FINRA regulations. Have you looked at the penalties for NOT adhering to those standards? For Sarbanes-Oxley, the lowest fines can reach $1 million and 10 years of prison time. And it only goes up from there. HIPPA starts at $100 per violation and can reach $1.5 million, depending on whether or not it was intentional. Big companies can probably take the fines. Can you?
Do you understand computer, network and internet security?
There are many paths to computer security. Do you understand them? Do your employees? There are many ways that security breaches can happen. By knowing what avenues hackers can take, you can get a good grasp on what things you should do (or not) and where you can afford to take the more affordable/easier route. OR NOT. If you haven't had a security audit recently, I would advise that you find a knowledgeable IT consultant that you can trust and talk with them about the security of your data.
Jen Steed writes about technology, travel and more. You can find her writing for various online and print publications. To talk to Jen or see all of her articles as they are published, you can follow Jen on Google+.