Intel SBA: Helping The State of IT Security for Small Businesses

Intel is helping out small businesses with the introduction of a new chip that has advanced security features already embedded. Called Small Business Advantage (SBA), this new technology manages your system’s security without additional software having to be installed.

Included with many new systems using Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 processors, Intel SBA is especially designed for small businesses with little to no I.T. support. Since security is built into the system prior to shipment, the small business owner could, in theory, remove the workstation from the box and start working immediately.

Intel SBA provides a PC Health Center, configured to run system updates and maintenance tasks whether the computer is on or off. Automatic system scans include defragmentation of the hard drive, software updates, and deletion of cookies and temporary Internet files. This will ensure your PC always runs at peak performance. But this may lead many small business owners to ask, “Will this replace my antivirus software?”

The answer, in short, is “no.” You’ll still need to run antivirus software and maintain firewalls and security standards for your network and the PCs within it. This will, however, likely replace a need for having a tech-savvy IT person constantly keeping your computer clean. It also will provide an extra layer of security, but it should not be a substitute for keeping your operating system up-to-date and having a good antivirus in place.

If you’re running a small business, here are a few must-haves for the safety of your electronic devices, as well as the data you have stored on it:

  • Microsoft Windows–The Windows Firewall is a great way to protect your data on the PC side. Make sure you have it enabled, as well as selecting Microsoft Updates to run daily. Trying to keep up with this manually can be a recipe for disaster.
  • Antivirus–Each of your PCs should be safeguarded with a good antivirus program. Symantec Small Business Edition is just the right size for your growing business, providing protection for your server, workstations, and everything in-between.
  • Password rules–Every employee in your organization must understand the importance of safeguarding passwords. “While passwords are a vital component of system security, they can be cracked or broken relatively easily,” technology writer Sarah Granger states on Symantec’s site. “Password cracking is the process of figuring out or breaking passwords in order to gain unauthorized entrance to a system or account. It is much easier than most users would think.” Create long, complex passwords incorporating a combination of upper and lower case letters, special characters, and numbers.
  • Limit access–If you have work-issued computers, limit your employees’ access to user only. Giving power user or administrator access gives your employees free reign to download any software. Even well-meaning employees can accidentally download malicious software by surfing the web while having too much access. There’s no

The good news is, Intel SBA may be a sign of things to come. If PCs and laptops are shipped with embedded security measures, it will provide an additional layer of security, as well as making sure your computers have regular maintenance. For the busy small business owner, this is a huge bonus.

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About Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.