By Rachel Oliver
A notice of a worldwide or sweeping Internet hack or virus strikes fear into the hearts of business executives quicker than anything else. The ordinary non-IT person may feel insecure and scared of having their personal information, financial transactions, or intellectual property stolen by a third party. Security standards are never flawless, but they are more tough in business settings and intranets that are regularly monitored for threatsBut, with a home office, how does the ordinary work-from-home employee, small company owner, or freelancer safeguard their data? What are the important obligatory software, firewalls, and policies that should be deployed on your home network to limit the chance of a hack or a harmful virus? This post will discuss how to ‘lock it down and safeguard both digital and physical assets against malware assaults for small enterprises.
Ports and Secure Equipment
Securing your ports and equipment from a hardware standpoint is less of a worry in a small home company than in a public area or regular office atmosphere. All network equipment, including routers and access points, should be concealed from view if you receive customers or clients at your home or workplace. Anyone may obtain quick access to your network and data via ethernet wall ports, therefore keep them concealed and disconnect any ports that are not in use and may be accessible to non-employees.
Allowing family members or friends to use business devices is not good.
It’s not that your family member or acquaintance is a hacker or intends to do damage. Still, if they have less Internet knowledge than you, they’re more likely to read a personal email or visit a malicious website, infecting your network. If you must provide a laptop or desktop for guests, ensure it is linked to the Wi-Fi through encryption and does not have access to file storage.
Purchase a router that allows you to create two or more independent Wi-Fi networks in your house for the greatest security. That way, you may keep your personal information on one safe and encrypted network while still providing Wi-Fi access to friends and family members on a ‘public’ network. Make sure your public network isn’t linked to any company equipment.
Select Your Cloud Storage Option Wisely
To avoid data loss, any small business owner, consultant, or freelancer will need to save files, invoices, and other financial information, as well as back it up. However, keeping outsiders from accessing your personal information requires utilising the correct cloud storage provider and adopting the right procedures to arrange and encrypt stored material.
Dropbox is one of the few cloud storage solutions that support Linux, Blackberry, Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS. To securely preserve your material or share it with customers or other team members, create folders on your local directory or desktop and then drag and drop them into structured folders on Dropbox.
Essentials that most small companies can’t live without, like the ability to sign PDF documents within the app, exchanging files over iMessage (for Apple users), and more, are among the stunning new capabilities brought out by DropBox.
The disadvantage is that the free account lacks many of the features that most small companies need, particularly security and storage. The free account comes with a meagre 2GB of storage space. For $12.50 per month, you may upgrade to 2TB of storage with the regular subscription (USD). Security-conscious professionals should upgrade to the $20.00 per month version, which contains the following features:
File recovery for 120 days
Administrator privileges and granular permissions on paper
For access, two-factor authentication is required (2FA)
Compliance with HIPAA (required for medical or personal information management)
Storage space is limitless.
Integration of a single sign-on (SSO) system
Tools for better monitoring and reporting
Administrator positions are divided into three categories.
The final two services are crucial for small company owners who work from home. It enables you to create folders and give customers, or team members access to them without making other folders accessible (such as administrative or accounting data). The improved monitoring and reporting capabilities can help keep track of who has added documents to a folder, uploaded, downloaded, or shared them in the centralised archive—this aids in the detection of unauthorised access to or exchange of personal information.
Consider upgrading if you’re using Dropbox’s free version to boost cloud storage security and avoid identity or intellectual property theft. Zoolz or JustCloud are two more suggested solutions, although many more to select from. When choosing cloud storage, always go with the premium option to access extra security and encryption features.
Keep an eye on critical updates, anti-virus software, and firewalls.
Even if you’re a computer expert, hiring a professional to set up an encrypted home network and pick the best anti-virus software may save you thousands in lost data and downtime. Security consultation and installation services are reasonable and well worth the investment from your local independent IT pros or corporations like Best Buy and Office Depot. Schedule a daily update after work hours to keep your virus definitions up to date.
A firewall is a piece of software or hardware (or a mix of both) that acts as a virtual barrier between internet traffic and your home or business network. Viruses, worms, and hackers are continually seeking to compromise corporate equipment and personal devices and home computers to gain access to personal information, health records, and other material that has value on the ‘dark internet.’ Information that might jeopardise a person’s credit score, personal finances, and more.
Remember to get the best anti-virus and firewall installation for your home network that you can afford. Also, make sure that your website, laptop, desktop computer, and other personal devices are all updated as soon as a new version is released.
Hackers cost Americans and organisations billions of dollars in data losses and recovery each year in the United States alone. Stay educated on best practices for cyber-security at home to protect your proprietary and personal data.