“Even if your company’s financial condition can withstand the inefficiency of quality service, your brand likely won’t,” said Jim Blasingame in The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance.
The logic behind why your business should focus on efficiency is fairly straightforward: The purpose of your business is to produce products or services that satisfy customers. The more efficiently you run your business, the more satisfied your customers will be. An efficient business will profit from customer loyalty and referrals.
Naturally, you have probably realized all this already, but you may be inefficient in IT security. Before talking about how to increase security, it’s first important to be very clear why insufficient protection of your computer systems and network can become very expensive.
IT Security Is an Insurance Policy
IT security is a little like insurance. An insurance policy seem like a waste of money, until something goes wrong–then the costs can spiral out of control. With sufficient insurance protection, you’ll be able to recover from the catastrophe, but without it a successful, prosperous business can collapse overnight.
Similarly, fortifying IT Security may appear to be a waste of time and money–until a hacker manages to break in and destroy or steal critical data. With sufficient IT security, you’ll be able to prevent hackers and malware from disrupting your business.
Prevention is better than a cure.
Hidden Dangers Online
The Internet offers a global marketplace that has reinvented the way we do business. Unfortunately, like a prosperous city, it attracts its share of criminals. Online, these cybercriminals are often involved in hacking, phishing, and spamming. This underground consists of clever programmers from all over the world working individually or in gangs to spread viruses, spyware, and botnet malware, among other things.
Viruses are an assortment of malicious computer programs that spread from one computer to another all through the Internet, and like biological viruses, create chaos and destruction in their wake. After a virus infects a computer system, it gives criminals access to its contents.
Spyware and Adware
Spyware and adware are a different technology from viruses. This harmful software downloads into computer systems without permission when a computer user visits an unsafe website. They also can be downloaded via an email attachment. They force the computer to do things that the computer use does not want. Milder programs serve up the same advertisements over and over again when they browse the web while more vicious programs track all online activity, copy usernames and passwords, and break into social media and financial accounts.
Malware is a general term for harmful computer programs. This malicious software can be anything from key logger software to computer viruses. Once a computer system is infected, it can be remotely controlled by cybercriminals–who can do all sorts of damage from looting financial accounts to using a computer to launch attacks on other websites or networks.
Botnets are not specific programs but a network of computers infected with malware. Botnets can be compared to spider webs waiting for a passing fly. Once a computer is infected with botnet malware, it can be used to harvest critical information like telephone numbers, names and addresses, credit card numbers, social security numbers and any other information that can be useful for malware distribution, website attacks, sending junk email, credit card fraud, and identity theft
Simple, Elegant, and Efficient IT Solutions
As you can see, a commercial website and business computer systems would be a wonderful opportunity for criminals to destroy your reputation online, steal valuable information, wipe out your customer list, and clean out your financial accounts.
Fortunately, just as there are criminals, there is also law enforcement protection, and security online consists of firewalls, security software, and other means of protection.
Firewalls keep hackers from hijacking computer systems and using it to send out any information on it without your permission. It’s similar to a security guard at a gate, watching for intruders and only permitting authorized people to enter the premises.
This consists of anti-virus software and other software that routinely scans your operating system, your files, your hardware, and your browser to defend against all forms of malware and threats coming from the Internet. Besides your software, your computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices must be protected.
Since your business probably has an ecommerce website, you can screen out human visitors from malicious bots by using captcha. Several firms believe that captcha ads, which simply require a user to tap the image for verification, can effectively protect against bots without irritating human visitors .
It’s important to regularly backup your valuable information by making an electronic copy of it and then safely storing it away.
Finally, an informed user can often prevent attacks by using the Internet with caution. Naïve users can be tricked into clicking on links sent by phishing organizations, downloading malware, and conducting financial transactions on web addresses that don’t use “shttp://” or “https://” to guarantee security. Instead, they buy from unsecure websites that only have “http://” addresses.
When devising your IT security, you first need to assess your risk by asking how you collect information, store it, access it, and protect it. Review what steps you are now taking and what you can do to increase protect hardware, software, network and ecommerce assets.