Security comes as standard with Solo Expenses

Ouch! That looks painful – and it’s the feeling you get when your IT network is compromised by a cyber attack like the one reverberating around the world at the moment. How do you dodge the punch? Just like the boxer; by keeping your guard up, that’s how. Solo Expenses explains how to stay out of harm’s way and avoid the knockout punch to your business…

Like a pack of wolves singling out the weakest member of the herd for attack, cyber crime targets the weak.

Weakness develops with age in computer networks, just as it does in people, but, unlike people, computer networks can be updated to remain strong.

So much of it is simple, and perhaps that’s why it’s overlooked, but it’s things like having filters on your email system, updating software regularly to make sure all the necessary patches are in place, and having antivirus systems up and running on your network.

Others are a little more complicated, and require intervention on your part. Make sure passwords are regularly changed, and aren’t obvious. Hacking happens on a powerful and industrial scale, so making a password as obvious as ‘password’ completely hopeless – and yet some people still use it. Far better to have collections of upper and lower-case letters and numbers that are unguessable. Of course, they’re hard to remember, so what about picking the registration numbers on the cars you first owned? Just a suggestion, but that would be that rare beast, wouldn’t it; a random collection of letters and numbers that’s easy to recall. Change them regularly too, and make sure everyone in the organisation does the same. It might feel inconvenient – but what’s worse; changing a password or having all of your data encrypted in a ransomware attack?

Software as a Service for your expense manager
And then you’ll need to have proper backup regimes for your data. And that’s where software suppliers can help. The latest incarnation of software supply is called SaaS, or ‘Software as a Service’. That’s how the Solo Expenses expense management app is used. What it means is that our software is held not on your network, but on ours, which is in the cloud. Don’t look up. In computer terms the cloud is a global network of datacentres; server farms in your country and others, with the data duplicated.

It’s the same system as used for online shopping from your phone, for instance, or by anyone using Microsoft’s Office 365.

As far as users are concerned, there’s no difference in the way the software operates, but it comes with the assurance that the security that protects it is far more robust than any on a domestic or business network.

Secure storage
From our point of view (or, more importantly, yours) what it also means is that you’re able to get on with expense management tasks wherever you are in the world, so long as you have a WiFi connection, and be secure in the knowledge that we’re backing up your data for you, so you don’t have to worry about it.

But we should also mention that we’re backing up only your expenses data. For everything else you ought to have a regime in place that keeps data files where they can’t be reached by hackers, and regularly updates them – no less often that daily is best. And don’t leave backup devices attached to the system; they can be infected just as easily, compromising two sets of data.

The details of your backup regime are for you to decide, though we’d suggest it should be with the help of your IT provider, who’s a specialist in the area. They’ll offer options like a data vault, so that if a ransomware attack compromises your business, it’ll be no more than a minor inconvenience, because a duplicate copy of what’s important to you will be ready and waiting for restoration.

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