West Midland companies are putting their business security at risk by ignoring the most basic systems to protect their network, a local security expert warns.
Businesses who fail to implement simple policies are leaving vital business information open for hackers to access, he says.
The most basic mistake businesses make is allowing employees to choose passwords which are far too easy to guess, claims Denis Dahsulja, an EC Council certified computer hacking forensic investigator, newly appointed by IT specialist Innovit.
"People choose obvious things like the name of their partner or the name of their pet, all of which are very easy for someone else to guess," he said.
"But many people write their password on a piece of paper and stick it their computer - or don't bother to have a password at all.
"This makes their computer and email incredibly easy to hack into and if they are on a network, the hacker has access to business critical information, including transaction histories and client lists."
Too many businesses assume that they won't be a target for hacking because they are too small or because their business is unattractive to hackers.
"What people don't realise is that there are a number of different types of hackers including those who do it for the thrill," said Denis.
"But there are also hackers who want financial information or have been commissioned to gather information, including databases or intelligence on company projects."
Implementing and enforcing some basic policies can help protect companies on a day to day basis.
"Every company should have a password policy which involves everyone using random letters and numbers which should not be written down," he said.
"Firewalls and anti-virus software should be installed and regularly updated and businesses should keep a close eye on what is loaded onto their system.
"Finally computers and networks should be regularly checked and if there is any doubt about security - call an expert. The safety of your business could depend on it."
Denis, who is also a Microsoft certified system engineer, has joined Kidderminster IT specialist Innovit as an IT consultant with more than six years experience.