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A checklist to keep your IT Security in check

You will often find that many businesses struggle when it comes to IT security as they have no clue or idea where to begin their journey. What type of security does your business require & what should you be prioritising? The best approach to take when it comes to this is to undertake a comprehensive IT security risk assessment. This can start with the basics and help provide you with the necessary steps to take after. 

To make this journey as smooth as possible for your business, in this blog article, we will give you a simple checklist for your IT team to complete. 

Before we delve into this checklist, we will just provide you with some context as to why this checklist will be useful for your business 

Gain a firm understanding of the data in your business 

When it comes to cyber security, you need to firstly have a firm understanding of the data in your business. This involves conducting a comprehensive review of your data to establish what you need and what you don’t. Cyber criminals can’t steal data that isn’t around, so if you don’t require certain data sets get rid of them safely. 

To be able to assess your data effectively, you will need to learn how it is stored, how long data is stored for and who should be allowed to access it. 

Assess the risks to your business 

This is where you will need to make sure you have a firm grasp of your data.  This can be put into 3 different categories: 

Threats – Something that could cause major problems for your business. This can be anything from a natural disaster to cyber threats. 

Potential Vulnerabilities – Any holes in your security that could make it easier for threats you already know to harm your business.  

Risks – This is assessing the likelihood that one such threat that you exposed can exploit a vulnerability. 

By assessing your data and your business in such a way, you will have a better understanding of how secure your data is. 

Now, that we’ve identified why an IT security checklist is important for your business, let’s provide you with the questions that you need to answer. 

  • Layout where your data is found 
    • Discuss this with your key data holders, management as well as the rest of your workforce. Where is all your data found? It is important to note that both physical and digital data needs to be included. 
  • Identify what data can cause major problems for your business if lost 
    • What data is vital to the day to day running of your business? What data can’t your business work without? Do you hold customer data? 
    • What is used on a daily basis? 
  • Learn what all the valuable assets are in your business 
    • Do you have any servers? 
    • Does your business have a website or more than one? 
    • Customer information including sensitive information such as credit details 
  • Outline potential consequences 
    • From the legal side – If someone gains unauthorised access to your data, you could be fined or incur extra legal costs if you don’t follow data protection laws. 
    • Loss of business as well as reputation – This is vital as over 71% of customers say they would leave a business as a client if their data was exposed. 
    • If any downtime is experienced in your business – How much will your business lose if you are unable to access your business systems for a day, week or month? 
  • Establish the potential results of these things are for your business 
    • How much will it cost your business? How much could you get fined for data breaches? How many clients could you lose financially? 
  • Outline threats and their chances of happening 
    • Natural disasters 
    • System failure 
    • Accidental human interference such as someone deleting something by accident 
    • Malicious humans 
  • What safeguards have you got in place for each system? 
    • Do you have any written security policies? 
    • Do you have relevant and useful employee security training in place? 
    • Does your business use anti-virus, anti-malware, firewall or any other software to protect your business? 

So, what is next? 

It is important to note that the above checklist is a good place to start for businesses looking to ramp up their cyber security efforts. This will give you the fundamentals of where your data is, how much you have and where you could potentially be exposed. 

If you are looking for expert advice on how to improve the cyber security of your business or have more bespoke IT security requirements then please give our team of IT experts a call today to discuss how we can help you protect your business

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