With the speed of business ever increasing, changes happen at dizzying speed. While these adjustments are a vital part of survival, they can leave organisations vulnerable to some sneaky security risks.

Just as we can secure our health by practicing healthy habits, the same can be achieved for our IT environment. That is not to say we recommend your servers taking the stairs or being fed a diet of superfoods of course. An IBM expert has suggested some basic things you can do to keep your security in better shape – and they won’t cost you a cent!

  1. Patch your operating system. OK, so nobody lives for tasks like applying patches, but it is necessary for a good reason. Not applying a patch can be the equivalent to laying out a welcome mat for malware. For the time poor among us (and who isn’t), major vendors such as IBM offer software solutions that make the job a lot quicker.
  2. Patch applications. For much the same reasons as above, patching applications makes you far less vulnerable to unwelcome additions to your environment. Given the BYOD era means many of your users could be introducing apps that aren’t strictly company issue, the old manual methods just won’t cut it any more. Again, there are some technologies that make applying patches a breeze. Of course, if you’re switching to subscription-based applications, any reputable provider should perform updates promptly.
  3. Protect your data. Or in other words, get your backup systems working the way they should. There are a lot more options for efficient backups now, ranging from cloud-based backup as a service (BaaS) to infrastructure that automates what used to be a cumbersome task. The added benefit is that automation cuts out one of the biggest risks of all – human error.
  4. Restrict admin rights. A considerable amount of organisations give admin rights to users, or to a large group. This is usually a matter of convenience, but not every employee is as security savvy as the IT team. A 2010 BeyondTrust study showed that 90 percent of critical vulnerabilities in Windows 7 could have been mitigated by placing greater limitations on admin rights. Your users may have become more security smart in the five years since, but those seeking to exploit your systems have upped their game too.

These measures are certainly not the only ones you need take, but they are certainly worth the effort. Security challenges and risks change constantly, so reducing opportunity gives you a great starting point.

For more about security smarts, or to learn about our independent security audits, contact our friendly team of specialists.

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