Reducing information technology risks

Threats and risks to information technology (IT) systems and data are an everyday reality for most modern businesses. You should put in place measures to protect your systems and data against theft and hackers.

Practical steps to improve IT security

To help protect your IT systems and data you should:

  • secure computers, servers and wireless networks
  • use anti-virus and anti-spyware protection, and firewalls
  • regularly update software to the latest versions
  • use data backups that include off-site or remote storage
  • secure your passwords
  • train staff in IT policies and procedures
  • understand legal obligations for online business.

Read more about protecting IT data and systems.

Create a secure online presence

If your business has an online presence, you should assess the security of your website, email accounts, online banking accounts and social media profiles.

For example, secure socket layer (SSL) technology is used to encrypt transaction data and to send customer and card details to the acquiring bank for authorisation. You should ensure any web hosting solution you consider is capable of supporting the SSL protocol.

Induction and IT training for staff

Training new and existing staff in your IT policies, procedures and codes of conduct is an important component of IT risk management strategies. Training can cover key business processes and policies, such as:

  • safe handling of infected email
  • protecting the privacy of customer details
  • priority actions in the event of an online security breach.

As an employer you have legal obligations when training staff. Providing support and training for new employees is a critical aspect of staff training. Read more about staff inductions and staff training.

Business insurance

It is impossible for a business to prevent or avoid all IT risks and threats. This makes business insurance an essential part of IT risk management and recovery planning. You should regularly review and update your insurance, especially in light of new or emerging IT risks, such as the increasing use of personal mobile devices for workplace activities.

Learn more about choosing the right business insurance.

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