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What You Need to Know About Data Security

Business Technology | February 8, 2012

When looking at data security, you might feel you have enough safeguards set up to defend your small business. After all, you probably 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 stress about having their systems breached by complex hacking techniques. With thousands of delicate customer records on file, these large firms are the ones who must be concerned about cyber attacks, right? As it happens, digital thieves have significantly escalated their efforts with regards 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

The facts are, hackers have found that small enterprises are easier targets, and are increasingly preying upon them. They are able to infiltrate their systems at a much faster rate, and with a better percentage of success as well. This means a cyber criminal can attack multiple targets in the time it would take them to lay siege to a better-guarded system with a higher level of data security. How can it be worth their while to steal from a mom and pop operation? In the present modern world, virtually every business makes use of digital payment processing methods. Whenever your customers pay using a credit card, this data must run through your system to be validated. This represents a goldmine of information for hackers, as they can lift this data without being discovered. With your customers’ credit card numbers, addresses and names, they are able to make bogus charges on their accounts.

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 harmful 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 pretending to be system administrator are among the low-tech ways criminals may target your organization. You may believe your workers are impervious to these seemingly evident ploys, but it only takes one error to open your company up to an attack.

The buck stops with you

If you feel that maintaining data security is not crucial, take into account that should your systems be breached, your clients will likely hold you personally responsible for any stolen data or property. These kind of events cost companies thousands of dollars each year and can damage a company’s reputation so badly  that they must close their doors permanently.

An ounce of prevention…

So, in terms of your data security, taking additional precautions is a wise move. Not only should you upgrade your programs whenever possible, take a look at strengthening your passwords as well. Don’t use obvious phrases, and never leave the default password in place. Also, instruct your employees not to share their login information or open attachments from unknown senders when checking their email. You may also hire an outside consultant to guarantee the security of your customers’ data. Taking these kinds of measures can give you piece of mind, knowing that your systems are safe from attack.


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