Increasing Network Security In A Small Business

In a world where security is a top priority, every company must think about protecting their data and customer information.  Computer crime is a real concern, and all computers and networks are susceptible to falling victim to a slew of attacks.  A businesses’ reliance on the Internet opens them up to a number of security issues that should concern every small business.  It is also something that every customer must consider as they are asked to disclose personal information.

If that information is entered into a database and is shared over a network, an incident of hacking could devastate business and customer alike.

With an increased need to be able to work from remote locations, remote desktop services are critical for the success and growth of a small business.  The ability to work from any location increases your flexibility and productivity as a company, and will secure increased business.  There are three things that you can do as you establish a remote desktop and a remote desktop connection from PC to Mac in order to promote increased security for your company and customers.

  • Establish Firm Limits on the Number of users Allowed to Log in Remotely. 
  • The more people that have access to your network the more likely you are to be compromised.  By limiting access to those who truly need it to do their jobs you are decreasing the likelihood that you will be successfully targeted by a hacker.  Because small business tends to have fewer resources within their IT department and network support it is critical that whomever you work with is well versed in the levels of security needed for your business.  It is also critical that the individuals with access are well trained in how to remote desktop.

  • Predetermine a Number of Login Attempts before a user is Locked Out of the System. 
  • When training employees to login to their accounts and to the network, your most secure method is to require passwords that are long and require special characters.  A good rule for personal accounts as well, the more complicated the password, the more difficult it will be to replicate.  Once the password is established and they are taught to enter the system, establish a number of attempts before they are locked out of the system.  If three attempts are made with an incorrect password the user will be locked out of the system and will be required to make contact in order to be assisted.

While some may consider this tedious and time consuming for the employee and IT services, it will increase your security exponentially.  You will also want to force a password change every three months in order to minimize your risk. For a remote desktop connection for Mac make sure that everyone on the network is utilizing strong passwords.

  • Restrict Downloads and Ensure that All Anti-virus and Anti-spyware Programs are updated Regularly. 
  • For all PC and Mac remote desktop users, a company has the right and responsibility to restrict downloads to company computers.  Inappropriate and nonwork related use of computers is a serious offense with a majority of employers because of the risk involved.  A downloaded program with a virus can attack the entire network, leaving all of your data, accounting information, and customer information at risk.  Having an IT department, even if it a one person department, will ensure that all updates are completed as available.  This is the added protection that you need to keep your data safe. Setting up these safeguards are easy, as you can see in this video on remote desktop connections for Mac and PC.

No business can afford to underestimate the security risks involved when remote access is implemented.  Even though security risks exist on and off site, there are a number of measures that can be taken to increase security and decrease the hackers’ access to your network and information.  As a business working with customer information it is your responsibility to do all you can to ensure the safekeeping of that data.

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-Nicoletta Lagonis is a freelance writer and an adjunct instructor teaching business management and psychology courses.  She holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Millersville University, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Lebanon Valley College.

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