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 all software up to date and checking systems regularly, you can minimize the risk of cyber attack and help protect your sensitive information.
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 assistants of IT Professionals putting security and compliance at risk.
Cyber Security and You
A 2013 study by Verizon indicates that Cyber attacks are on the rise. Cyber attacks are on the increase, in particular to companies with under 100 employees. Here are some things you can do to prepare: keep your network secure by updating O/S patches and maintain anti-virus/anti-malware definitions current, establish clear policies for acceptable use of mobile devices, mobile applications and data and train employees on cyber threats, including how to spot a threat and report a breach.
These landmark moments in technology will influence business in 2014. Touch technology and Windows 8 will allow business to be efficient and cost effective. Cloud computing growth is expected to continue. There is no expectation that Cyber security threats will decrease in 2014 so maintain a strong defense.