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3 Simple Steps to Boost Your IT Security Today

Enhance your small business's IT security with these three simple, actionable steps. Learn how to implement strong pass phrases, enable two-factor authentication (2FA), and regularly update software and systems. Discover the comprehensive protection offered by Simple Shift's Foundation IT product, designed to safeguard your business's digital environment with advanced features like antivirus protection, proactive monitoring, and automated updates. 
3 Simple Steps to Boost Your IT Security Today

As a small business owner, you know how crucial it is to keep your business safe from cyber threats. However, with so many complex security measures out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The good news is that there are straightforward steps you can take right now to enhance your IT security. Here are three easy-to-implement tips that will help safeguard your business against potential cyberattacks.

1. Implement Strong Pass Phrases

Pass phrases are the first line of defence against unauthorised access. Unlike traditional passwords, pass phrases are longer and more complex, making them harder for hackers to crack. A strong pass phrase should:

  • Be at least 16 characters long
  • Include a mix of random words or a sentence that is easy to remember but hard to guess
  • Avoid common phrases and easily guessable information like birthdays

How to Implement Pass Phrases with Office 365

  • Go to the Microsoft 365 admin centre.
  • Navigate to Settings > Security & privacy
  • Configure the required Password Policy from this screen
  • Set up guidelines for creating strong pass phrases and communicate these to your team.
  • Tip: Consider using a password manager to help generate and store complex pass phrases securely.

2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring not just a pass phrase, but also a second form of verification. This could be a code sent to a mobile device or a fingerprint scan. Enabling 2FA can drastically reduce the risk of unauthorised access, even if pass phrases are compromised.

How to Enable 2FA with Office 365:

  • Go to the Microsoft 365 admin centre.
  • Navigate to Users > Active users.
  • Select the user and click “Manage multi-factor authentication”.
  • Follow the prompts to enable 2FA for each account.

3. Regularly Update Software and Systems

Outdated software is a common entry point for cybercriminals. Keeping your systems and software up to date ensures you have the latest security patches and protections. Set up automatic updates wherever possible to minimise the risk of missing critical updates.

How to Keep Office 365 Updated on your devices.

  • Office 365 is designed to update automatically, but you can check for updates manually by opening any Office app (for example Microsoft Word)
  • Go to File > Account > Update Options, and selecting Update Now.
  • Ensure all other software used by your business also has automatic updates enabled through the update mechanisms they provide.
  • Tip: A better way to do this is as an organisational policy through either a managed IT service (like the one we provide) or via policies.

Explore Our Services

At Simple Shift, we offer a range of IT solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of small businesses. Our services include:

  • Managed IT Services including comprehensive IT support to keep your systems running smoothly.
  • Cybersecurity Solutions including advanced protection against evolving cyber threats.
  • Cloud Services that drive efficiency and scalable solutions for your business.
  • IT Consulting. Expert advice to help you make informed technology decisions.

You can learn more about our services at https://www.simpleshift.digital/services.

Other ways to stay protected

Get Started with our Foundation IT package 

Our Foundation IT package is a complete, easy-to-implement solution designed to enhance your businesses device security. It contains:

  • Antivirus Software (BitDefender) for Desktop to protect your computers from malware, ransomware, and other cyber threats.
  • Proactive Hardware and Software Monitoring to detect and resolve issues before they impact operations. This minimises downtime, keeping your business running smoothly.
  • Automated Security and Application Updates to keep your software up-to-date with the latest security patches, mitigating vulnerabilities without manual intervention. Automation also saves you money by keeping all applications and operating systems current and reduces the risk of outdated software being used.
  • Security Event Monitoring which provides real-time monitoring and quick response to security events.
  • Automated Software Deployment to simplify the deployment of new software and ensure efficient and consistent installations, reducing IT staff workload and saving money.
  • IT Asset Management to keep track of all your IT assets efficiently.
  • Service Desk Access to you can log and track support tickets easily.
  • Remote Support. Get expert help where and when you need it without the need for an on-site visit, saving time and money.
  • Two Hours of Support / Per Licensed User / Per Month to ensure you have access to IT support when you need it.
  • Automated Backup for Microsoft Office 365 to protect your valuable business data.
  • Enterprise Grade Email Security – which protects your business email and Office 365 environment from advanced threats.
  • Office 365 Business Basic License to provide essential Office 365 applications for your business.
  • End Point Ransomware Prevention to safeguard your devices from ransomware attacks.

Alignment with Security Frameworks:

Our Foundation IT Package also aligns with leading security frameworks, ensuring you meet industry standards for cybersecurity, including the Essential Eight and the NIST Cybersecurity Frameworks.

For more information you can either reach out or subscribe to the package here.

Take Action Today

By implementing these three simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to a more secure IT environment. Don’t wait until it’s too late – start protecting your business today.

If you need further assistance or tailored security solutions, we’re here to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation. Let’s make your business safer, together!

For more insights and tips on IT security, be sure to visit our blog.

by Scott Malpass

Scott is an outgoing entrepreneur with a passion for making a difference. He is the owner and CEO of two companies - Aquafruit Media and Simple Shift digital. He currently consults with The Australian Government in technical/business roles and has been active in the I.T. industry for more than 20 years. His approach to problem-solving is often outside of the box but backed up with sound industry practice and an outstanding work ethic. His motto is simple. "Life is short- make it count."