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Protecting business IT systems in tough times

Tough economic times require businesses to be smarter about where and how they spend their time and money.  But deciding how much time and how much money small businesses should spend on protecting their information is often a challenge many businesses struggle with.

There is lots of helpful information available to small businesses on what they can need to do to help weather the storm. Tips that focus on businesses following up on late payments, extending payment terms with suppliers, and having your finances in order to share with your bank to extend lines of credit are just some of the recommendations you can find online from industry experts or in newspapers and industry publications.

But to initiate any of these “storm weathering” activities, businesses require their information to be current and available.  It is therefore critical that IT security, backup and recovery are in place and functioning efficiently to support these activities. Every minute that vital information is not accessible places additional financial strain on your company in an already tough environment. So what can you do to protect your business?

  • Secure your endpoint devices. There is an ever increasing need to secure and protect your IT devices. These devices are constantly being targeted by attacks designed to compromise and steal company data. Securing your endpoint devices will help build a strong defence against these threats and attacks.
  • Back up your data. There are many reasons why your IT system could be brought down – disaster, human error, hardware failure or malicious Internet attacks. Additionally, requirements from the Australian Taxation Office and other regulatory bodies require you to retain financial information for a minimum of seven years. To meet these requirements, it is vital to back up important data regularly and store this data in an offsite location. It is also important to have a solution in place that allows you to recover data quickly when needed, and minimise potential down time.

IT is an investment rather than an expense and small businesses need to ensure that you are doing everything possible to protect that investment. By securing endpoint devices, regularly backing up data and instituting proper recovery planning small businesses can ensure they are protecting and minimising their business from exposure to unplanned risks and ultimately reducing any potential revenue loss.

The reality is we work and live in an information driven world and we must do everything we can to secure and manage this information as efficiently as possible. There are simple and cost-effective steps that businesses can take to protect their information, giving them the confidence they need to be successful in today’s connected world.

Matthew Old is the SMB and Renewals Manager for Pacific and is responsible for developing and implementing Symantec’s strategy in the small and medium business market.

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