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IT Security: a Must for Your Business

All round security

IT security is not only about attacks online. You could simply lose a phone or have a hard drive die. There could be a breakin at your business premises.

Here's some food for thought:

  • 43% of cybercrimes target small business
  • 87% of small businesses believe their business is safe from cyberattacks just because they use antivirus software
  • "Small businesses often don't have dedicated IT teams or managers, so cyber security is out of sight - out of mind. This false sense of security puts small business at a high risk of exploitation..."

(Source: Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO), 2017)

Even though our clients are mostly at the smaller end of the business spectrum, they have suffered ransomware attack, hacked computers, data loss and failed hard drives. A very few (with sites not built by SuttonNet) have had their websites hacked.

What you can do

There are simple sensible steps that you can take, without breaking the bank.

TIP Read the cyber security best practice guide from ASBFEO and act on it.

Follow up with the Australian Cyber Security Centre's Stay Smart Online advice.

  • Back up regularly and store backups off site.
  • Update all passwords from time to time. Use hard to crack combo's of letters, numbers and special characters - not your pet's name. A pass phrase (not just real words though!) is even better than a password. We know it's a nuisance changing passwords frequently. But compromised passwords are a bigger nuisance.
    Did you know that you can find out if your passwords have ever been exposed by a data breach?
  • Contact your computer services specialist if you suspect that your computer isn't running as usual (eg persistently slow Internet, can't access certain files).
  • Consider a Linux operating system, if your business does not need software written specifically for Windows. Linux O/S has some inherent features that help to protect it. Linux is a variety of Unix and it's free. (Unix based operating systems are used on Apple Macs too.) You can ask SuttonNet to install a Linux system for you.
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) is a fast growing risk area. Manufacturers have been fast to sell to consumers, but slower to secure their products' Internet connectivity (including cars!). This can compromise security of other devices on the same network. Pay attention to what network you are using at any time, and what else runs on it.

    The Internet of Things refers to the ever-growing network of physical objects that feature an IP address for internet connectivity, and the communication that occurs between these objects and other Internet-enabled devices and systems.
    (Source: Webopedia)

  • Ensure that all email accounts use secure TLS sending. Find out if you need other mail security products too. If your business is subject to the Australian Privacy Principles, or if you transmit sensitive information via email, you should look into comprehensive email security.

Webhosting

You've made a good start, hosting your website with SuttonNet. Our server is designed for and dedicated to SuttonNet use. There are no anonymous hackers sharing your website's host server and seeking to infiltrate other sites there. We know our clients, and we fully control and strictly limit access to the server interface.

Our web server infrastructure is managed by professionals with a long history and high reputation in business web, data and email hosting.

Email

Think about what information is in your business emails, where this is stored (including emails forwarded from your business's own-domain email address to your other mail accounts) and who might be able to access it, in your workplace or beyond.

For @yourdomain email accounts hosted with SuttonNet, mail is stored temporarily on our dedicated server; then deleted from there, and retained only on your own business hardware (PC, phone etc). It's up to you to control storage and access to devices that contain your mail.

The big name mail hosting providers generally store clients' emails on their own servers:

  • Storage may be permanent, unless the account owner alters default settings.
  • If you change providers, you may lose your email history.
  • If anyone re-registers an old email address that you've dropped, they maybe able to access your old emails or access online accounts (eg ecommerce) that you've forgotten about.
  • Some generic email providers are known to have had security breaches.
  • The mail account owner often doesn't know where in the world their emails are stored or what security protocols there are.

Visit our Email Security 101 and More on Email Security pages.

Last updated 30 April 2020