SAN FRANCISCO -- Top-of-the-line security features don't have to be an afterthought for small businesses. Here at the RSA Conference -- an information security event hosted annually by its namesake firm -- we've uncovered several new options for security-conscious firms.
Most sophisticated security options are out of reach for resource-constrained smaller operations, because custom application development or software scanning tools are too expensive. But there is a growing stable of tools that offer enterprise-grade features at small business prices.
From password management to secure securing networks to safeguarding data on the go, here are three new security tools small companies might consider:
Manage and secure employee passwords.
Many small businesses have inadequate password management procedures. Employees either choose passwords that can be easy for hackers to crack or they simply aren't as careful about protecting their passwords as they should be.
Washington D.C based security service Thycotic offers government-grade password and identity management. Thycotic creates a password server that allows a manager on your team to require employees to create robust passwords on their PCs and then gives management the power to manage those passwords without actually opening them. For example, admins can delete a password after an employee leaves or is terminated.
Even though Thycotic's services have traditionally been aimed at big companies, they're priced so that any security-conscious firm should consider it. Thycotic's password reset server starts at $355 year for up to 100 users.
Keep unwanted users off your business
Your company's network needs to be as well protected as any other part of your office. Watchguard, a Seattle-based network security firm, offers an entry-level firewall and intrusion router -- the XTM 2 Series Firewall Appliance.
Large firms often go through a third party security manager, but Watchguard offers an easy-to-manage firewall with comparable features. It can be effective against the usual range of threats -- spyware, DoS attacks and the like -- and also includes protections for voice calling and web access. It also enables you to add features such as application control so firms can keep a handle on how their network is being used.
Watchguard's units start at about $350 for a one-time fee.
Keep portable data safe.
Carrying data on a flash drive might be the best way to move large amounts of critical information without risking it amid the open waters of the web. But an encrypted flash drive can help mitigate the loss if it is misplaced or stolen.
Fountain Valley, Calif.-based Kingston Technologies' line of encrypted flash drives might be the most bombproof portable storage option. For example, Kingston's Data Traveler 4000 -- which starts at $35 for 2GB -- includes security features with enforced complex passwords and a secure drive that locks down after 10 failed login attempts.
It's also durable, built in a rugged, waterproof steel casing that can withstand extreme hot and cold.
What tech tools do you use to keep your sensitive
business data safe? Let us know in the comments
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