Security mistakes are rife when it comes to SME’s, mainly because administrators are pressed to keep up with the demands of security requirements in a very small team, sometimes even individually. It’s also down to the fact that end-users, such as employees in this instance, quite regularly ignore the numerous lectures, e-mails and verbal warnings handed out on a daily basis.

You’ll be surprised by some of the basic security measures that are often ignored by employees, including the most basic of security recommendations such as not leaving passwords on bits of paper scattered around the office. However, while end-users are often to blame, there comes a time when administrators at small to medium-sized businesses have to face the music themselves. It administrators are human after all and prone to the odd mistake, especially when working for an SME.

IT administrators are under much more pressure than their fellow employees who are far less likely to understand the tech logic behind computer security. Administrators are expected to know the office tech inside out, with the vast majority of security questions reaching their office.

Unfortunately, working for an SME means that administrators have to do far more than just sit at a desk and monitor potential security flaws. They are also responsible for each employees’ hardware and the odd 2my internet is down” question that gets bandied about at least a few times a week. This hugely demanding level of workload puts pressure on administrators at SME’s to meet deadlines and can subsequently lead to uncharacteristic errors.

Here are some of the errors I’m referring to, along with guidelines on how you can combat them and make your administrative responsibilities a little less oppressive at any small to medium-sized business.

Regular System Updates

It’s essential that all systems are regularly updated when this is requested by the computer. Essential; updates help to fight back against security vulnerabilities and loopholes in software. Security patches can be fixed instantly with an update, so make sure they are installed as soon as possible.

Connecting to the internet Before Installing Essential Software

Connecting hardware and other systems to the internet before you they are equipped with the necessary spyware scanners and virus protection software is a big mistake. Programs to prevent malicious software should be installed on all computers prior to Ethernet cables and Wi-Fi capabilities being enabled.

Creating Backups

Backups should be created and not doing so is a sign of laziness. These backups should then be tested and maintained in case of any emergency scenarios where computers are plagued by viruses or hackers. Backups are an easy way of storing vital information on the cloud and this data can be retrieved at any time.

Inform and Educate Your Employees

Keeping your employees well aware of all the latest online threats enhances their resilience and makes them well-informed and prepared to deal with any issues that may arise. They will also think twice about opening dodgy-looking e-mails. Uneducated users are most likely to fall victim to hackers and phishing attacks.

Don’t Do It All Yourself

Doing it all yourself can actually have a negative effect on the safety of your business. IT departments are commonplace within the largest companies but small businesses often rely on a single administrator, so it’s important you ask for advice when necessary and get external help to ensure the job is done right the first time round.

Using the Default Username and Password

Hackers dream of accounts that still use the same default password and username, as this makes it incredibly easy for them to gain access to the network. Always make sure that you change or delete default accounts immediately upon setting up your network.

Updating Antivirus Software

Your antivirus software alongside spyware scanners should always be updated to ensure the most up-to-date version are present on all computers. Malicious software is always changing and the latest updates will ensure the latest malicious software is stopped in its tracks.

This article was provided by London based IT & Technology specialists www.tmb.co.uk.