Target Privacy Data Breach: Part 2

Target Retailers were just involved in the second largest credit card data breach in United States history. Today Target announced the data breach that occurred over Thanksgiving weekend now exposes upwards of 70 million credit and debit cards. Target also disclosed the privacy data breach compromised names, addresses, phone numbers or email addresses, in addition to credit card information.  When businesses are victims of a security breach, loss of revenue is often highlighted in the news. What the media often overlooks is the internal costs of remediation, exposure to privacy breach laws and loss of reputation with their customers. Any Business can be the Target of a Privacy Data Breach While large companies make the news, many small business owners believe their company is too small to be targeted by cyber criminals resulting in privacy data breach.  According to Verizon Wireless’s 2012 Data Breach Investigation Study, 71% of data breaches occur in companies with fewer than 100 employees.  A privacy data breach can be devastating to a small business. Malware or software used to interrupt a computer’s processing, is a common way of perpetrating these attacks.  Small businesses are often unprepared when it comes to these attacks. What a Business Owner do to Avoid a Privacy Breach Action can be taken to protect your small business and your customer’s sensitive information.  First, audit your network regularly. Periodically scan your network for unauthorized computers and devices connected to your network directly or via Wi-Fi.  Also, update any antivirus or malware software regularly. Check your firewall and security settings.  Make sure all your defense mechanisms are up to date and working...

Cyber Attack Target

Target Retailers were just involved in the second largest credit card breach in United States history. A cyber security attack occurred over Thanksgiving weekend, which exposed upwards of 40 million credit and debit cards users. Compromised information included credit and debit card information, as well as customer names. When large businesses are victims of a security breach, it often is highlighted in the news. What the media fails to recognize, is the susceptibility of small businesses to cyber attacks. Small Business are Susceptible to Cyber Attacks Many small business owners believe their company is too small to be targeted by cyber crime. According to Verizon Wireless’s 2012 Data Breach Investigation Study, 71% of data breaches occur in companies with fewer than 100 employees. An information breach can be devastating to a small business. Malware, or software used to interrupt a computer’s processing, is the most common way of perpetrating these attacks. Small businesses are often unprepared when it comes to these sorts of attacks. Protecting Data from Cyber Attacks Action should be taken to protect your small business and your customer’s sensitive information. First, audit your network regularly. Periodically scan your network for unauthorized computers and devices connected to your network directly or via Wi-Fi. Also, update any antivirus or malware software regularly. Also check your firewall and security settings. Make sure all your defense mechanisms are up to date and working properly.  It is also important that all employee are trained on your policies and procedures for avoiding malware and identifying phishing schemes. It is important to keep a secure network to ensure your customers trust. By keeping...

2013 Technology in Review

As always, a lot has changed in the Technology world in the past year. Systems are updating, while new technologies are becoming more prevalent. Windows XP, the operating system that 33 percent of personal computers rely on, is on the way out. Windows 8.1 has become the standard. Also, personal computers are leaving the scene. Small businesses are moving to the compact and portable Tablet. Business On the Go has never been easier. During the past year most companies adopted cloud computing.  While many advances have been made in these technological areas, Cyber security threats and related losses are reportedly on the rise. Why You Should Care About Windows 8 Now that Windows 8 is on the market, it is important to consider the switch. Although it is difficult to change from Windows XP or Vista to 8, having the latest operating system is an important security issue. One option is to do a Clean Install of Windows 8. The other option is to replace XP machines with Windows 8 for potential tax incentives. Mobile Computing Hits Main Street Technology companies continue to release a wide array of Touch Devices and there popularity continues to increase. 2014 will be the first year that tablet sales surpass personal computer sales. This shift to touch devices in the workplace will lead to increased mobility, functionality, and profitability in the work place. Cloud Computing Adoption on the Rise A research report by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) 90 % of companies surveyed adopted cloud architectures as part of the IT infrastructure during 2013. In some cases, Cloud Computing deployments occur without...

Why Small Businesses Need Technology

Technology has become an integral part of most small businesses.  Email has replaced the fax machine.  An onslaught of mobile devices have replaced cash registers, binders and note pads.  Pencil and paper no longer keep up with the velocity of business today.  In order to attract new customers and deliver products and services at competitive prices, small business technology is the cornerstone to automation and profitability. Cloud computing, mobility and consumerization of IT make it affordable for small businesses to deploy systems that were once reserved for large scale enterprise.  With ready access to small businesses technology, there is also more reliance on these core systems.  Small businesses are also targets of cyber attack because they may be perceived as more vulnerable and less vigilant.  Also, small businesses may be less resilient to business disruption related to systems failure.  Accordingly, Small Businesses should take every precaution to protect applications and their data.  They should also properly assess their risks and exposure to ensure they get the most from their small business IT Budgets. What can small businesses do to make sure these systems support the ongoing operations with minimal interruption? Small Business Technology Inventory A good place to start is to take inventory of your systems and data.  It is good policy to document all of your IT assets including hardware, networking devices, application software and data so you can have a complete view of your IT Systems.  Make sure you include mobile devices, cloud computing or software as a service (SaaS) systems, as well as, custom applications and legacy systems. Small Business Technology Risk Assessment Once you have...

Cyber Security Awareness

Did you know October is Cyber Security Awareness month?  This tradition was established ten years ago in the United States by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.  This is a great opportunity for the public and private sectors to establish  secure and vigilant infrastructure and to protect IT Assets from Cyber Security Threats. This initiative places emphasis on the following areas of Cyber Security throughout the month: Mobile Security The importance of cyber security in a mobile setting is highly important, no matter where you are or what device you are using.  Business owners should take time to evaluate Mobile Security Policies including Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Acceptable Use Policies for access to corporate systems and their data from a mobile device.  Mobile data protection including Antivirus, Anti Malware and Mobile Device Management to track, monitor, protect and enforce IT security policy on a Mobile Device. Cyber Security Workforce Cyber Security in the workforce highlights the importance of fostering the next generation of workers through education and training.  Cyber attack can come from anywhere in the world, at any time.  As a result, the Cybersecurity workforce is on the defense against elusive Cyber Criminals.  Having a well staffed, well trained Cybersecurity workforce is critical to the fight against Cyber Crime. Cyber Crime Cyber Crime prevention focuses on national and local efforts to prevent traditional crimes like theft, fraud, and abuse that can also take place online.  Many of these attacks go unnoticed and unreported.  Malicious software or Malware may be downloaded and undetected.  Phishing schemes...
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