If you can’t afford to lose it you can’t afford to risk it.
Is your business data and the health of your business at risk?
You only have to follow the news to know there is a high level of risk. Current threats are coming from several directions. There are hackers and botnets all over the world who have a huge financial incentive to gain access to your business and customer data. Theft of credit card information is regularly reported and well known. The most lucrative prize in the United States at present is Social Security numbers and associated data. As far as personal data is concerned those bring the highest price on the darknet.
- Hacking and data theft. Hacking into an organization is frequently accomplished by taking advantage of internal lapses in security. An infected USB drive is plugged into a computer internal to the company network. An email from a person known to an employee is infected and opened on a network computer. An infected web site is made to look like a legitimate site and opened on the internal network. Frequently, the person who opens the rogue file may not even know that there is a security problem. Infections have been known to remain hidden for days while they spread in the internal network. During this time the “Trojan Horse” looks for high value data to steal. Many times the company servers and network are used to transmit the data out undetected to command and control servers for a botnet. A good company firewall can mitigate against incoming attempts to gain network access. Stolen data transmitted from inside the organization’s network can be more difficult to detect.
- Stealing your productivity with virus, adware and malware. At first these types of infections may be barely noticed on the victim computer. When they have spread and initiate computer slowdown, popups on web browsers, strange search results and even computer crashes they are already deeply embedded in the operating system.
- Computer crashes and data loss. Infections can cause valuable business data to be lost or stolen. Computer crashes can also result from hard drive failure and data corruption. The computer hard drive still has the highest component failure rate. That is why a good network backup plan is one of the most important components in recovery from disasters, large or small. It is not enough to back up your important data to an on-line backup service and forget about it. Remote backup takes a long time to recover over the internet. It is important to have a protected on-site backup, rotated on a regular schedule, to speed up recovery time. Your backup media should be stored in a fire-proof and water-proof safe when they are not engaged in backup. Your financial data and business secrets are especially rich targets for theft and should be protected separately.
- Loss of access to email, the internet and social media. All these are potential attack vectors as well as important day to day business and marketing data. Your email inbox is not a good place to store large volumes of correspondence and business data. There is an upper limit to the storage capacity and search-ability of email clients. The risk is for potential data corruption and data loss when you near the storage limit. Your email account can be hacked and used as a conduit for all kinds of malware. It is important to protect access to your accounts with a strong password. The same protection should be applied to your social media accounts. Accounts which require two-factor authentication are inherently better protected.
What do you need to stay protected from these assaults?
- Network, computer and smartphone security.
- Antivirus, anti-malware and anti-keylogging tools.
- A backup plan that includes both on-site and internet backup.
- An internet service provider with a proven up-time record and a fail-over plan.
All antivirus and anti-malware protection tools are not the same. Independent ratings of their effectiveness range from most effective through somewhat effective to actual malware masquerading as protection. The difficulty is to pick the best rated protection in each category. The first task is to pick a reliable reviewer. Some are merely apologists for poor preforming software and some knowingly promote junk-ware. Here are a couple of suggestions for reviews: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372364,00.asp http://www.pcworld.com/article/2068485/kaspersky-six-others-top-malware-removal-tests.html It is important to check these reviews carefully to find the protection that meets your needs.