By Ross Dyer, Technical Services Manager, Websense

In this article, we offer you some practical tips on where to spend your waning IT budget. This is the perfect time to take a look at existing systems and evaluate whether they are working or not. Many companies are down-sizing, leaving them with overworked staff that may not take the time to be as careful as they should be. And let's face it–disgruntled employees always pose a risk, whether to morale or to a company's essential information.

1. Save money with hosted services

Spam continues to increase, with wily hackers coming up with more and more sophisticated methods. Security that is hosted stops malicious spam in the cloud, before it can touch your network. The volume of spam that actually enters your network is dramatically reduced, preserving bandwidth and IT resources. Adding a hosted solution as layer on top of a software solution adds even more protection. Consider adopting a hosted service or layering a hosted service on top of your existing email security and free up limited IT resources to focus on more important business objectives.

2. Consolidate your security products

Data loss and security risks come not only through careless Web browsing or email spam, but from a combination of sources. To be sure that your are covered from inbound threats and outbound loss, whether workers are inside your network boundaries or out, find a company with deep knowledge of the current threat landscape that offers an integrated solution. You'll get better protection with less hassle, and you'll simplify by having only one company to negotiate with, get support and updates from, and build a relationship with.

3. Get real-time security for true Web 2.0 protection

Just as Web 2.0 offers a new world of opportunity, it can open the door to entirely unfamiliar dynamic threats–threats that legacy antivirus products aren't capable of identifying and arresting before great damage is done. Emerging, zero-day threats are targeted and tested to bypass antivirus products, so look for solutions that can analyse Web data in real-time and draw on other factors such as the source Web site. For true Web 2.0 protection it is crucial that any solution is able to scan dynamically and in real time.

4. Guard your essential information with a data loss prevention solution

Get very familiar with what information is essential to your business and where it resides, and put in place the most powerful DLP (Data Loss Protection) you can find to guard against inbound threats and outbound loss. Data breaches are costly, and occur in many cases because digital information is not properly protected. The vast majority of these incidents came from inside the organisation. With the current economic downturn bringing additional pressure, staff will be more prone to making mistakes, compromising data assets for their own personal gain, or taking unnecessary risks with confidential information to remain competitive. DLP provides a sound cost-avoidance strategy and can positively impact revenue, saving thousands with little upfront investment.

Websense protects more than 42 million employees from external and internal computer security threats. Stay on top of the latest news in security and learn how to make computing safe and productive with our monthly newsletter, WebsenseConnect: www.websense.com

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