Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek

Trending

Filed under: News

 

7 Ways To Protect Yourself Against A Data Breach

Dec 31 2013, 9:16am CST | by

10 Updates
7 Ways To Protect Yourself Against A Data Breach
Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 

Comments

Recommend Your Tweet as Top Tweet:

Full Story

7 Ways To Protect Yourself Against A Data Breach

As business owners, we know that we could be doing a better job protecting our data.  We should be more responsible, have better controls and be more secure.  Like the big companies, right?  Hmmm.

Right before Christmas, someone hacked into Target’s system and stole encrypted customer security debit card PINS on top of 40 million credit card numbers of the retail giant’s customers.  Oh, and by the way, this was before ZDNet reported on other enormous breaches of security that were suffered in 2013 by the world’s biggest names in media, government and technology from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal to The U.S. Federal Reserve, Facebook , Adobe, Apple and Twitter.  In all cases, private and confidential data was taken. Although there are suspicions, no one really knows who is taking the data or what it’s being used for.  And after the furor dies down, no one can say for sure that the same won’t happen again.

These are not dipsy-doodle, little, tiny companies.  These are some of the largest, most well known companies and government organizations in the world who supposedly specialize in technology.  And they couldn’t even protect themselves from getting hacked.   So yes, we can take solace that we’re not alone.  But we must also admit:  this is serious.  And that our smaller businesses are not just as vulnerable.  We’re more vulnerable.  Why?

For starters, most of us are accepting and storing more credit card and social security numbers now more than ever.  We’re accepting online and mobile payments.  We’re sending out and receiving fewer checks and transacting more virtually.  And when we accept this information our customers are entrusting us to keep it on file so that they don’t have to give it to us more than once.  So we’re responding to that request by storing it…both in on-premise and hosted databases that require nothing more than a simple password to access.  Our security is terrible.  And the hosted ecommerce services that we rely on (judging by the examples above) clearly aren’t much better.

And who will be to blame if our customers’ info is stolen?  We will.  Our customers will stop doing business with us.  Some may sue us.  Others may tell others or report their problems to the media.  Our credibility would be challenged.  Our reputations may be lost.  We are unable to be trusted.  We are embarrassed.  And we are potentially facing enormous liabilities.  Would you like to be the subject of the next ZDNet slide show featuring businesses that were hacked?  I didn’t think so.

So how do you protect against this?  There are ways.  For example:

  • You should always make sure your customer data is stored in an encrypted database.
  • You should have multi-levels of passwords to access any database storing customer information and change these passwords frequently.
  • You should periodically and regularly run background checks on employees handling customer data.
  • You should make sure to have malware detection software running on both your servers (hosted or not) and workstations and ensure that your firewalls are up and secure.
  • You should review and implement the standard network security health check controls like the ones suggested here .
  • You should make sure your Disaster Plan (you have one, right?) has a plan for if a breach occurs.
  • And you should have your attorney update your terms and conditions to hold you harmless in the event of a stolen data incident (although that still can’t stop anyone from suing you, you losing that suit or at the very least suffering the same lack of credibility and reputation issues).

It’s a brand new year.  And with it will come even more hacks of private information.  We’ll hear about the big ones from the big companies.  However, the thousands of small companies who will be hacked this year will not make the national headlines.  And unfortunately they will suffer the most.  Let’s hope that you and I are not one of them.

A version of this column previously appeared on my blog for AVG Technologies, a client of mine.

Besides Forbes, Gene Marks writes daily for The New York Times and weekly for Inc.com .

Source: Forbes

 

iPad Air Giveaway. Win a free iPad Air.

You Might Also Like

Updates


Sponsored Update

Update: 10

GLCs told to provide RM7 billion to develop Bumiputera firms

Source: Malaysia Today

EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM - Day One
(The Malaysian Insider) – Putrajaya has directed government-linked companies (GLC) to generate RM7 billion in business opportunities for Bumiputera firms this year, Prime Minister Prime Mi ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today 5 days ago, 2:05am CDT
 


Advertisement


Update: 9

Rafizi shows proof of Putrajaya’s hand in contentious carpet-trader loan

Source: Malaysia Today

Eileen Ng, The Malaysian Insider PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli today revealed documents to prove Putrajaya interfered in the RM32 million Bank Rakyat loan to ‎controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan. Rafiz ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today 6 days ago, 2:16am CDT
 

More From the Web

Update: 8

PAS MP claims Bank Rakyat loaned carpet-trader RM215m, interest free

Source: Malaysia Today

(Malay Mail Online) – Controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan (pic) was given a whopping RM215 million interest-free loan from state-owned Bank Rakyat, a PAS lawmaker alleged today, despite Putrajaya’s claims otherwise.... RE ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jul 14 2014, 5:52am CDT
 

Update: 7

MRCB, Nusa Gapurna and PKNS settle suit over RM3 billion PJ Sentral project

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), Nusa Gapurna Development Sdn Bhd (NGD) and PKNS Holdings Sdn Bhd have reached an out-of-court settlement ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 21 2014, 2:53am CDT
 

Update: 6

Story behind Syed Mokhtar’s ‘RM2.25 billion tax-exempt’ Bernas deal revealed, says PKR MP

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – An innocuous written reply in Parliament has provided a peek into the cosy relationship between the Najib administration and Malaysia’s best-known businessman, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar... READ MORE ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 15 2014, 12:56pm CDT
 

Update: 5

Constitutional monarchy still murky concept

Source: Malaysia Today

After the RM4.5 billion land sale, the Sultan of Johor secured a 15% stake in MOL Access Portal (MOL) for RM396 million and took a 20% stake in Berjaya Times... READ ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 14 2014, 12:37am CDT
 

Update: 4

Sultan of Johor’s RM4.5 bil backlash?

Source: Malaysia Today

"GOLDEN ASIA" Tokyo Premiere Press Conference
Has Sultan Ibrahim of Johor’s succession of big money deals over the last six months caused the tide of public opinion to turn against Johor’s royal palace? KiniBiz examines ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 11 2014, 8:49am CDT
 

Update: 3

Putrajaya denies carpet dealer given interest-free loan

Source: Malaysia Today

Eileen Ng, The Malaysian Insider Putrajaya today refuted allegations that Bank Rakyat had allowed carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan to repay a RM32 million loan without interest followin ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 11 2014, 5:44am CDT
 

Update: 2

Malaysia Spends Over $9 million on MH370 Hunt: Report

Source: NDTV

"GOLDEN ASIA" Tokyo Premiere Press Conference
Malaysia has so far spent about RM27.6 million (over $9 million) on search operations for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an official ...
Source: NDTV   Full article at: NDTV Jun 9 2014, 3:12am CDT
 

Update: 1

Bill for Kidex likely to soar to RM3.4b

Source: Malaysia Today

The original RM2.4 billion tag on the proposed highway did not take into account the cost of acquiring the land mostly in the urban areas, claims an assemblywoman Fabian Comelius,... ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 9 2014, 2:51am CDT
 

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Xiaomi Mi 4 takes a shot at the iPhone 5S
Xiaomi Mi 4 takes a shot at the iPhone 5S
Xiaomi, a rising phone company in the East, has threatened Apple with its low-cost high-end Android phones. With the Mi 4, Xiaomi appears to have unintentionally copied Apple's design philosophy, albeit on a small...
 
 
Tony Dungy Clarifies Comments About Michael Sam
Tony Dungy Clarifies Comments About Michael Sam
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy clarified his comments about not wanting to draft openly gay St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam.
 
 
Apple reports $7.7 billion profit fueled by strong iPhone sales
Apple reports $7.7 billion profit fueled by strong iPhone sales
Apple's third quarter revenue is $37.4 billion - up from last year's $35.3 billion. Quarterly net profit is $7.7 billion, an increase from the previous $6.9 billion net profit.
 
 
Johnny Manziel's Jersey is NFL's Top Seller
Johnny Manziel's Jersey is NFL's Top Seller
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel's jersey is the NFL's top seller.
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind


Read more about The Geek Mind.