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Ten tips on technology for business owners

Greg Keller

What would you do if all of your data and essential information were gone or in the hands of someone who could do harm to you or your company?

Most companies do not answer this questions until it’s too late and they have had a security breach.

Think of the role technology plays in our personal and professional lives: it helps us engage with clients and colleagues; it can give businesses an edge on competition; it often provides new tools to run a business in an effective and efficient manner, and it allows us to create new ways of selling products and services.

Although technology is a prime concern for both small and large businesses, typically, small businesses have fewer defenses than big companies even though cyber criminals target smaller businesses just as often as they target larger companies.

Because one security breach could shut down your entire network and compromise important data, it is important to provide safeguards that will help protect you, your business information, and your sensitive client information.

And, as companies will continue to release new technology, it is wise to beef up your internal security procedures before deploying new devices, software, and systems.

Here are some practical tips that are easy to implement:

#1: BE ALERT:

As they say, yesterday’s hackers are today’s cyber criminals. As technology opportunities increase; so do threats. Typically in slow economies there are more security issues and more opportunists looking for any vulnerability in your security to exploit.

#2: BE INVOLVED:

To avoid disruption in your business, owners should be involved in all aspects of the operations, including technology.

#3: STAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE:

Map out a good internal disaster plan and be ready to respond to any disruption immediately. The best way to keep your information safe is to protect against the possibility of a breach in the first place.

#4: ENFORCE STRONG PASSWORDS:

Passwords should include upper and lower case letters along with numbers and symbols and should be at least 10 or more characters. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. Passwords should be changed on a regular schedule and the accounts of terminated employees should be deactivated immediately.

#5: EDUCATE EMPLOYEES:

Cultivate a teachable culture within your organization. Technology will continue to improve so train your employees to embrace an ever-changing environment. It’s helpful if management can get everyone comfortable with asking questions and coming forward if they see something that doesn’t seem right.

#6: BE PROACTIVE:

Upgrade your system every few years and it could help jumpstart aspects of your business, but be careful buying software as soon as it comes out; sometimes it’s best to give the manufacturer some time to get the bugs worked out.

#7: IMPLEMENT POLICY:

Implement internal security precautions before you need them. Develop strong guidelines internally and keep everyone accountable.

#8: USE RELIABLE SECURITY SOLUTIONS:

Keep your network updated so it can detect new threats, which include viruses and malware. “Have an experienced internal IT team, or outsource to a trusted contractor, who can help you stay on top of the latest trends.”

#9: BACK UP DATA:

Think about what could happen: theft, natural disasters. Confidential data should be kept in encrypted form, and should be kept offsite.

#10: INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY:

Although it costs time, resources, and money to keep your technology updated, it is a good investment. In the long run, a security breach costs much more.

Having a thoughtful and conscious attitude towards technology can help you move your business to a more profitable future, but having a careless attitude towards technology could mean that you will be reacting to the future instead of shaping it.

In an increasingly fast-paced and tech-savvy business environment, there is one thing that is certain: an investment in technology is an investment in your business.

Website:
Greg A. Keller, CPA, CFF, PFS, CITP, is a principal and Chief Technology Officer at Dalby, Wendland & Co., P.C. He has been with the firm for 27 years and has special designation from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as a Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) for his experience and expertise in technology. Go to www.dalbycpa.com to receive tech tips and tax alerts via the DWC newsletter.
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Posted by on May 8 2012. Filed under Business News, Contributors. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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