IT Security: Is it time for a reboot?

The last 12 months have seen a steady increase in targeted online attacks, with 90% of major UK organisations reporting security breaches according to recent figures published by the government. With the same report also highlighting cyberattacks as “a serious threat to the UK’s national security” – is it time we all took a new approach to IT security?

Whether you have a single PC, server or multiple systems, they all need to be protected as they hold valuable company information that if lost or compromised can ruin an organisation of any size, overnight! However, the range of products available on the market now is huge and IT managers all over the world are constantly looking for the latest and most secure product available.

With every new threat a new product comes out, and with thousands of products to choose from, ranging from the FOC to the thousands of pounds… how does anyone choose?

First things first, you need to know what actually needs protecting. Then see what security software you already have, as you might just need an upgrade. There are two types of software from which you must make a decision – standalone (for a small number of computers) or centralised (for a large number of computers).

So what should I do once I know what I want? Get advice from the people that know best. Your IT supplier or IT support company is a good place to start when it comes to choosing a security package. Not only are they aware of what’s available, they are also in a great position to help you understand the best solution for your needs.

Generally made for personal use, free of charge products might sound fantastic to your company accountant but can fall short of what’s required for business use. As well as nagging you with pop-ups about upgrading or adverts – all part of the deal – they also won’t offer many of the extra features you get with the paid version. So all those additional firewall, tracking or anti-spam facilities might make it worth the annual subscription.

Every customer is different so choose security software that suits you. If you’re only a small company then it’s a lot easier to trial new software to see how it operates. Larger companies might select a few people or computers to act as guinea pigs before committing to a long term investment and then finding that it causes major clashes or problems.

With high quality cyber security underpinning the entire digital economy, it’s a prerequisite to keep everybody safe. As the industry continues to grow and change at an alarming rate, it has become increasingly difficult to stay on top of IT security.

Whatever you choose, it’s vital that the security or anti-virus software you use is installed on all of your computers and servers. And just because it’s installed, don’t let your guard down. Pay attention to any changes in the industry and always stay on top of security with strict internal policies, a robust plan and a backup system too – you never know when you might need it.

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