4 tips to get started with IT security

Does one of these situations sound familiar to you? You find a sensitive internal document in a team folder that everyone has access to and you ask yourself: Is this really okay? Or your team saves your passwords in a Word document and you start thinking: Is that really secure?   In this article, we show you how to start with IT security in your company if you don’t yet have a security concept.

Image: Patrick Perkins // Unsplash

How do I start with IT security?

Before you start thinking about concrete security measures, the first step should always be to assess the current situation. This is the only way you can determine the areas you should improve. The following questions can help you to assess your current status:  

1. Educate your employees on security issues

The training of your employees and an open culture of constructive feedback are important components of a holistic IT security concept. When it comes to IT security, mistakes are unavoidable, but it is crucial that you deal with these mistakes openly. All team members should be able to express their uncertainties and mistakes without fear. They should be able to discuss and address them openly, without having to expect negative consequences.   Security is teamwork. It is the task of the entire team to create structures that enable each individual to follow and understand the security guidelines. An important measure to achieve this is regular training. In these training sessions, you can answer questions such as how to create secure passwords or how to safely use public wifi.    In addition to internal trainings, you can also take advantage of various other measures to make sure your team is up-to-date regarding IT security topics:

2: Decide to use secure, user-friendly software by default

Imagine an employee is under extreme time pressure and has to meet an important deadline. They try to upload the data to your cloud to share with an external partner, but it doesn’t work. However, dragging the sensitive data onto a USB stick and then share it is done in a few minutes and the deadline can be met. What would you choose in this situation?   A secure cloud is only half the story. It has to be user-friendly, too. If you have a secure cloud but it is unreliable, or very complicated to use, your employees will switch to simpler alternatives depending on the situation. 

Security should be built into the software you use as a standard feature, not just an extra option as and when you need it. For example, if your cloud is encrypted by default, your data is safe; you don’t have to worry about additional security settings.   One way you can set up a secure and yet user-friendly cloud is to use Nextcloud through our Lacewing Cloud. As you are used to with other setups, you can store, synchronize or share data. The difference: your data is securely encrypted using Server Side Encryption. 

3. Check who has access to your offices

Have you ever thought about how secure your office actually is? Maybe your offices are empty and unattended during lunch breaks. Would it be conceivable that an unauthorized person comes into the building during this time and looks at sensitive documents on the desks, or even gains access to an unsecured computer?

The security of your offices is an important component of your security concept. Think about the following questions:  

4. Make regular backups

Sometimes, IT security has nothing to do with attacks by external parties. You have probably at some point deleted a document by mistake, or been unable to access your data due to some technical defect. Things like these happen often.   The loss of data in companies is a common problem that leads to a large financial loss every year. In a survey conducted by Dell Technologies, 82 percent of the companies surveyed said they had problems with downtime or data loss last year and they expected these problems to increase in the future.   This makes it all the more important to make sure you perform your own backups, securely and regularly. You could even set up an automated process so that you won’t forget to make backups.

For extra peace of mind, data stored in your LaceWing Cloud is backed up regularly, and automatically. You can even easily browse and restore previous versions of a document!

We hope that these tips have given you a good introduction to data security. If you want to learn more about IT security for small and medium-sized businesses, let us know!