NEW BERLIN, WI
While the US economy is still reeling from the recent financial turmoil, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are driving the economic recovery. In today’s marketplace, the Internet is their gas pedal. Everything, ranging from website marketing, to online transactions, to web-based meetings, to industry research is taking place online. While the Internet has presented businesses with access to an unstinted array of resources, it also brings several dangers. We are all familiar with many of the standard security threats – viruses, SPAM, malware, spyware, etc. – but as technology continues to evolve, business owners face an entirely new set of issues. What are my employees actually doing with their time? Are my employees putting my business at risk? How can I protect my business from internal risks, external risks and risks I haven’t even heard of yet?
Many business owners are able to monitor employee web usage. One of the most prevalent issues facing business owners is the decrease in productivity due to the proliferation of social networking sites, such as Facebook or MySpace. When you walk by in the hallway and see your employees working diligently at their computers, they could very well be flipping through the pictures of their friend’s most recent Vegas trip, or chatting online with other friends. Web monitoring software is an easy fix to this type of problem.
Inappropriate sites, such as non-business related sites, and even adult sites pose an alternate risk in that they can be a reservoir for viruses, phishing, spyware and other malicious software. Internet filtering is a quick way to eliminate these risks, yet many businesses are unaware of the preventative steps one can take.
Phishing is the illegal capture of personal data for criminal use, and many times this can result in the accidental dissemination of sensitive information. The legal risks associated with sharing private information can be detrimental to an organization’s health and can be prevented through tools such as Web Defense Plans or Network Security.
Maintaining an adequate amount of Internet bandwidth for legitimate business use is also critical because different technologies require larger amounts of data to travel through a finite space. There is a myriad of different safeguards available, yet each technology demands different applications, which are why many SMBs are partnering with Technology Advisors and leveraging their expertise.
While many businesses are looking for ways to eliminate overhead, one fix is by increasing the number of virtual workers at their organization. Oftentimes there is a substantial difference between the amount of security at the office as compared to the security of a home office network.
These threats are dynamic. As long as hackers and criminals are in existence, new threats will follow. This is why many SMBs are taking a long term view of technology and aligning themselves with Technology Advisors through strategic partnerships. This allows business owners to alleviate their concerns with technology, delegate the management of their technology to a trusted partner, who can protect their organization proactively. In today’s global marketplace, leveraging outside resources are keeping SMBs on track and profitable.