When we observe Cybersecurity Awareness Month at LRS Small Business Tech Services, we think about the range of services we provide to our small business clients.
For many clients, we manage their data backup systems and make sure that backups are performed regularly and the data can be recovered in case of a security breach. We also configure and install firewalls and anti-virus software to protect their systems from attack.
We also advise our clients on implementing strong password policies. The more complex you can make your password – at least 8 characters with a mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters – the more secure you are. In addition, the more frequently you change your network password, the more secure you are.
But we understand that our clients are dealing with humans, and sometimes humans aren’t willing to do what’s best. One of our clients doesn’t require that users change passwords frequently because their users have too much trouble remembering their new passwords. So in that case, we recommend another layer of authentication besides a password.
After all, the focus has to be on security; don’t get too concerned with creating policy.
Our clients range from a three-person business to an organizations with approximately 800 workstations and everything in between. They all turn to us to monitor and maintain their networks, including their network security.
One of the security actions we urge is keeping up with updates and patches for operating systems and software. Keeping everything up to date can be crucial to keeping your network secure.
But there are special challenges.
We have some clients who need to have a PC running the Windows 7 operating system; one even has Windows XP. Why? Because those clients have special and expensive software running on those workstations, and upgrading the operating system would require the purchase of new, more expensive software.
Small businesses usually can’t afford those purchases.
The problem with both of those operating systems is that Microsoft no longer supports them. That means the company no longer releases updates and patches that can keep them secure from the latest cybersecurity threats.
Instead of taking a firm stance that the clients MUST update their operating systems and software, we looked for solutions that would keep their networks secure.
In both cases, our technicians have done everything possible to lock down both systems and maintain security. Because we manage both networks, we know where those workstations are and we’ve isolated them from the Internet.
We’re keeping those clients secure. That’s our cybersecurity mission all year long.