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SECURITY

5 Business Tasks You Should Do Every Morning
 

Get your breakfast and another cup of coffee. And then run through this quick security checklist as part of your daily morning ritual.

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What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? For some, you might read the news or check your email. For those running a company, your morning to-do list ought to include keeping tabs on any security vulnerabilities. So grab your breakfast and your coffee and then check each of these items on a daily basis.

1. Visit US-CERT for security alerts.
It's always a good idea to check for any new security alerts at US-CERT. Most are related to IT vulnerabilities. "We update and patch all of our computer systems regularly to ensure security holes that have been discovered are closed quickly, and we rely on anti-malware software to automatically catch and quarantine malicious software and to notify IT staff of infections and outbreaks," says Dakila Clark, the director of engineering at MyCorporation.com.

2. Look for completed back-ups.
If your company were to experience an outage due to a storm or had data stolen from your servers, there are always back-ups, right? Most small business owners told me they check their back-ups on a daily basis to make sure the archive from the day before worked correctly. IT staff can usually send you a summary email.

3. Inspect system logs.
Of course, if you use any intrusion detection software, firewalls, and other security software, it's a good idea to check the logs for any breaches. "Our team routinely reviews network firewall rules, computer system configurations, and access control lists for correctness and to eliminate potential weaknesses that a malicious person may want to attack. We monitor computer system logs for irregularities or unauthorized access," says MyCorporation.com's Clark.

4. Check your bank records.
One of the most common attack scenarios involves online banking. Hackers obtain your login info and transfer funds to another account. It's a good idea to check your online accounts daily, if not twice a day (once in the morning and once before you leave). Look for any suspect transactions. Here's one example of why it makes sense.

5. Get the mail right away.
This is a decidedly analog security measure, but one that makes sense for any start-up. Jordan Markuson runs the Aqua Health Labs, a real estate company, and two ad agencies. He says he knows when the mail is delivered each day and always retrieves it right away. It's a way to avoid having someone steal an important business document--like a check.

Do you have any other daily security habits? Post in the comments.

Last updated: Oct 3, 2013

JOHN BRANDON is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine covering technology. He writes the Tech Report column for Inc.com.
@jmbrandonbb




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