The Three Most Important Security Steps The Small Business Should Take
As I googled, I saw an article with the topic, ‘The Three Most Important Security Steps The Small Business Should Take’.It started by saying that a lot of people will start disagreeing andsuggesting more steps should be taken. I wouldn’t say that it is somekind of good IT stuffs because it’s something which I know and I don’tquite agree. Actually, it’s not even steps. It’s just three things toconsider.
Alright. The three ‘steps’ are Antivirus Software, Firewalls and OS Patching.
Iwill start my point now. The reasons to state some topic like this andeven provided the three steps should have pointed out the mostimportant steps or things, I would call it. However, I wouldn’t commentanything as every mind thinks differently. But I would like to state mythree important things too.
Wikipedia – Small Business
Asmall business may be defined as a business with a small number ofemployees. The legal definition of ‘small’ often varies by country andindustry, but is generally under 100 employees in the United Stateswhile under 50 employees in the European Union.
I do feel thatthe small business should be categorized into different categories likeCategory A – Less than 15 employees and so on. Or maybe they alreadyhave.
Here it comes. My three important things would be a server, backup and security tools.
Itreat my home network (even though it’s just Mee and me) as importantas managing a small business network because we have our own importantdata such as pictures, mp3s and some documents. It would be headacheshould I lost all the data or get involve with some viruses.
Ihave two hard drives; 40GB and 80GB respectively. The 40GB is used forOS while the 80GB is used for data and games. There was once when Idecided to switch my XP over to Vista by formatting my existing OSdrive and partitioned it into two. However, I tried using FDISK butonly to realize that it doesn’t recognize NTFS file system. Thus, Iused Hiren’s BootCD, recommended by my previous manager, to boot up thesystem and used some DOS NTFS tools to partition the drive.Unfortunately, I deleted all of my partitions including the 80GB whichcontain all important data. I had previously backup some of the data onDVDs but not the photos and mp3s.
However, I do know that eventhough I deleted the partition, the data inside the drive is notdeleted yet. Thus, after hours of fiddling, I managed to retrieve thepartition and make two partitions too. I’ve been long-winded but thepoint is to say that data is very important, therefore, I had changedmy way of managing my system ever since.
Now, I have a 250GBexternal hard disk that manages all my backup data while the 80GB keepspart of it as extra copy. Thus, backup is considered one of my securitysteps. At least I wouldn’t be that worried should I happen to delete myexisting partition again. Even though I had mentioned that deletingpartition, doesn’t mean the data is deleted. However, I will need totake extra care trying to restore the data by creating the rightpartition. My next mission is to format the 40GB and 80GB hard drivesand install dual boot of XP and Vista into the 80GB. Having a backup onthe 250GB means having a peace of mind.
Aserver could help managing the user accounts and acts as a file server.Giving certain privileges and permissions to certain people wouldrestrain employees to install irrelevant programs or copy data fromother sources which may bring viruses. As all the files would be storedin the server, backup will become easier by performing on the serverrather than each computer in the network.
The version of Vistathat I have is Vista Ultimate. It is considered the mostfunctionalities and most secured version of Vista. As I only have onecomputer, it is not possible for me to setup Server 2003 on mycomputer. However, I restricted my own account from having the fulladministrator rights. This could prevent spyware or adware frominstalling automatically. As a normal user account, each softwareinstallation will be notified or even blocked without notification.
Iconsidered myself lucky as my computer was often attacked harmless byspyware and adware which were removed successfully without any damageof data or system files. My memory card was infected by virus once whenI used it in the previous college where I studied. Fortunately, it’sonly the memory card.
Security tools that I would recommend are McAfee VirusScan, McAfee SiteAdvisor,and Windows Defender. Windows Defender comes loaded in Vista and sofar, it has been able to detect all sorts of spyware and adware whichare trying to attack my system. McAfee SiteAdvisor is free for downloadfor both Internet Explorer and Firefox. After installed, there will bea short bar indicator on the right-bottom of the browser. Whengoogling, there will also be an indicator besides each link. By lookingat the indicator, we will know whether the site is harmful or safe tovisit. As the old saying, ‘Prevention is better than cure’.
McAfeeVirusScan is by far the best antivirus tool that I had used. It’sdefinitely better than Norton Antivirus. From my own experience, eachand every files going in and out from my computer will be scan and anyharmful files will be automatically deleted or quarantined. My previousexperience with Norton Antivirus is that a message box will always comeout when a file is infected but most of the time; it can do nothing,not even deleting the file.
As far as I heard the commentsfrom other IT people that I had converse before, software firewall isnot recommended and hardware technologies are much better. I had usedZoneAlarm before and find that it is not that kind of software that Iwould expect. The message prompts each and everytime a file or aprogram tries to access the internet is irritating. Right now, I have aLinksys Wireless Router with simple firewall but I do believe thatbackup, server control and security tools would be enough to secure mysystem.
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