Online security breaches aren’t just concerns for businesses doing transactions on the internet. Hackers are breaking into sites everywhere, stealing employee and customer records and sensitive business information. These hackers use the data to access credit or resell it to be used by others resulting in identity theft—YOUR identity, that is. In their Global State of Information Security Survey report, accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers noted that the incidence of security breaches around the world increased 48% in 2014.
The Cost of Attacks
The list of hack attack types is daunting in itself—Web app attacks, Denial of Service (DOS) attacks, Point-of-Sale (POS) intrusions, payment card skimmers, Crimeware, insider misuse, cyber espionage, and outright theft of equipment and storage devices—plus a host of other less common and even unknown intrusions that grow every day. The cost of these attacks is hard to pin down due to reporting methods, but estimates of the global costs range from $300 million to over a trillion dollars.
So what can you do about it? A good place to start is with your own employees.
Employee Abuse of Access
Abuse of access to computer privileges is endemic in many businesses. Access to your company’s secure servers should be guarded just as if it were a pile of cash. Consider this: A wants B to help on some reports, so they give B their password rather than logging on at B’s terminal in person. Come lunch time, B does some online shopping without logging off the secure server. The next morning, your whole system has crashed from an attack. Even innocent mistakes like sending an email to the wrong place can have grave consequences.
Poorly Secured Networks and Oversharing Vulnerabilities
What about when your employee is away from work? Accessing sensitive company data from public or poorly secured Wi-Fi networks is risky at best and could be disastrous. Oversharing on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn can let prowlers gather enough information about an individual to break into your company’s servers. Train your staff on these vulnerabilities and enforce them vigorously.
Third Party Risks
Third parties such as vendors that have access to your payment or record systems are another vulnerable point. Be sure to have policies that address third-party access and the risks they create.
Rapid Detection, Prevention, Plan and Procedures
Even the most careful measures may not stop an attempt to hack into your system. Make the rapid detection of security breaches a top priority and have procedures to respond quickly and effectively.
Security experts urge businesses to carefully assess their vulnerabilities and institute preventive and detection measures that are reasonable and relevant to their needs. Your web presence is an important asset of your business and needs protection just like your inventory and premises do. Protect your onsite data operations carefully and be sure that whoever hosts your offsite access points and data takes reliable security measures.
Taking Security Seriously
When you trust your web operations to the Unleaded Group, you can be confident that we take security seriously. We’re ready to work with you to advise and assist you with internal security measures and host your offsite data in a secure environment.
The Unleaded Group has best-practices security measures in place for both our facilities and the data on premises. Our building has controlled access and surveillance systems 24/7. Cameras record activity within the building as well, and access to our server room is permitted only to authorized personnel with specific passcodes. State-of-the art detection and backup systems protect data both onsite and in the cloud.
For an overview of internet security issues, look at this article about Nine Ways to Bolster Data Security. For a more in-depth look from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Cybersecurity Strategy & Operations group, see their report here.