Computer Support Tips For Managing IT Security In The Workplace

it-securityAlthough IT security is steadily increasing in the workplace, it is still not good enough and as a result companies are often left wide open to harmful viruses and scams. With the advent of social media used in the workplace, more and more employees are able to access their own personal accounts from their work computers and this can lead to a wide variety of IT security issues. Being able to access social media platforms at work does not necessarily link to businesses being vulnerable to hacking and the like, however, it does indicates a poor IT security policy and if employees are free to explore and run programmes without check or reprimand, your company can be left exposed to serious security issues. Below are 5 top computer support tips to help you in your mission to protect your company’s computer network:

  1. 1. Rewrite and release a new IT Policy

If you find that your employees are regularly accessing programmes and websites for personal use, as well as downloading and running programmes that have not been authorised by you or your IT team, then it is time to renew your IT Security Policy. You need to take the time to think through what you do and don’t want your employees doing when they are at work. For instance, do you mind them checking their personal email and if not, how often should they be allowed to check it? Should your employees be allowed to access Twitter and Facebook and if so, is there a time limit on their usage or a ‘for work purposes only’ restriction. Setting everything like this down in writing and distributing it to your employees will make them aware of what is expected and allowed and give you the right to issue reprimands if and when the policy is not followed.

2.Run a few IT security sessions for your employees

Education is always the best way to ensure people follow your rules. You need to make your employees aware of why you are introducing a new IT Security Policy. Many people will know all about the dangers of downloading a file they’ve been sent in an email from someone they don’t know. However, some other employees may also think nothing of it or assume your IT security at work is so strong it will automatically defend against viruses and scams. These days hackers and IT scam artists have also got a lot more savvy at disguising themselves, which can lead employees into making the wrong decision, such as changing their password after being instructed to in a dodgy email, or even giving out their private information via email.

3.Emphasise password security and enforce regular changes

Despite internet fraud being so widespread, many of us still use the same passwords time and time again, perhaps changing it ever so slightly by adding a new number on the end every so often. This is not good enough, especially for a business, which may be relying on its employees to protect vital market information from competitors and the like. You need to make sure your company’s password policy is more complex and set up your computer network and systems to ensure people follow strict password setting guidelines, such as:

– A minimum of 8 characters

– Compulsory use of capital letters within the password

– Compulsory use of symbols within the password

– Kerbing use of birthdates, names and addresses

– Enforcing password updates every 4-6 months.

4.Reset and restrict your employees’ authorisations

One of the biggest problems employers have concerning IT security in the workplace is that they don’t restrict their employee’s access on the network. This means low-level employees can access all work files and visit any website they choose, as well as download unauthorised programmes. This is not ideal and should most certainly not be the case in this day and age when it is relatively simple to restrict a user’s access. You should ensure your employees cannot download anything and everything and make it so an IT representative must always be the one to download anything onto an employee’s computer. In this manner, you will help prevent any major IT security breaches.

5. Introduce a Personal Device Policy

With more and more people owning handheld devices, such as tablets and smart phones, it is becoming increasingly useful for employees to allow these devices into the work network. However, each time, before allowing a personal device onto your network, you should make sure your employees have signed up to your company’s ‘Own Device Policy’. If you don’t have such a policy, it is recommended you create one as soon as possible. This policy should reemphasise your company rules and regulations in terms of passwords, downloads and restricted information. You should regularly revisit these terms in order to make sure your employees are keeping to them and that you are not as risk of a security breach.

James writes for Quintech. When not writing, he can often be found searching for breaches in IT security.