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're 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?
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 managers walk by in the hallway and see 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 that need to be taken.
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 are many safeguards available, yet each technology demands a different application, which is 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 decrease in web security when someone works remotely, unless proper preparations are made.
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.
Submitted by Dale Stein, CEO of Voice Smart Networks, 619-857-4638, firstname.lastname@example.org