Data Security: What You Need to Know



by | February 21, 2012       << Back to Blog    

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When looking at data security, you may think you have enough safeguards set up to protect your small business. After all, you most likely routinely update your antivirus software and other security protocols as well. And it’s not as if you’re a large company that needs to worry about having their systems breached by complex hacking techniques. With thousands of sensitive customer records on file, these massive firms are the ones who must worry about cyber attacks, right? As it happens, digital thieves have significantly escalated their efforts in relation to stealing from small businesses. To help you find out more about your level of danger, let’s examine this important topic in greater detail below.

Small firms: low-hanging fruit

It might seem obvious, when you think about it, that small businesses make fast and simple targets of cyber attacks. Cyber criminals can launch attacks on small businesses at a faster rate, which greatly increases the likelihood that they’ll succeed on stealing some valuable information. Don’t be misled into believing that your small company does not have valuable information that a hacker may want to steal. The simple act of paying via credit card means that your system must verify the card’s validity. This verification information can contain names, addresses, account numbers, and more.

How hackers gain access to your data

Hackers usually take a multiple-point-of-entry approach when attempting to breach your company. Don’t be fooled that email is the only way a hacker will attempt to infiltrate you. While malicious email attachments are the most widely used tactics that hackers use to mine data from a company, they also use low-tech methods as well. Direct phone calls to lower level employees or possibly a in-office visit posing as system administrator are some of the low-tech ways criminals may target your business. You may believe your employees are impervious to these seemingly obvious ploys, but it only takes one error to open your company up to an attack.

The buck stops with you

Many people assume that since credit card companies are usually accountable for any bogus charges that occur from a hacking event, that data security isn’t crucial. While this may be true for a consumer, for a business owner the end result may be very different. Consumers will hold you responsible personally should their information be stolen. Damage control after an attack can cost an organization thousands of dollars and in some cases a single attack can spell the end of business in general.

An ounce of prevention…

Taking extra precautions when it comes to your business’ data security is a very wise move. Continue to update your programs and passwords on a regular basis. Teach your employees good security practices like setting up strong passwords and instructing them to never give out login information or open suspicious emails. Hiring an outside consultant is another great way to ensure your clients’ information. These measures not only give you peace of mind, they tell your clients that you care about keeping them safe.



About Fernando Sosa
Fernando Sosa is a technology consultant, project management professional, and software developer who helps small businesses and nonprofit organizations make the most of their information technology resources.


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