Avoid security threats and protect your business with these tips

Cutter Slagle
- Leadership - Aug 21, 2015

If you’re a business owner, then you may constantly worry about hackers and security breaches. After all, one of the worst things that can happen to you and your company is private information becoming released to the public. Ashley Madison, the infamous website that promotes having an affair, recently ran into this trouble. Specific clients who used the site’s services have been released, as well as their personal information such as credit card numbers and email addresses.

You may not run a “dating” website, but your company still runs the risk of being targeted. Therefore, you could benefit from learning how to avoid certain threats. You may never find yourself actually needing protection, but isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?

The following tips can potentially help to protect you and your business. Take a look!

RELATED TOPIC: [INFOGRAPHIC] How important is security for small businesses?

Protect yourself from angry employees

Believe it or not, internal attacks are one of the biggest threats that face your data and systems—be careful who you trust.

Employees (especially those in the IT department) who have knowledge of your company’s networks, data centers and admin accounts can cause a lot of damage. You remember the Sony hack that took place last December. Did North Korea really breach the system? Or was it an inside job?

To avoid this situation, it will be important to identify all of your privileged accounts and credentials and terminate any and all that are no longer in use or connected to employees that are no longer with the company. As well, you should closely monitor, control and manage these privileged credentials to avoid possible exploitation.

Protect yourself from mobile devices

If employees are using personal mobile devices to share data, access company information or neglect to change passwords, then data theft becomes quite possible. Referred to as “BYOD”—Bring Your Own Data—companies who allow this can risk exposure from devices on the corporate network when an app installs malware or other Trojan software that can access the network connection.

To protect your company, make sure you have a policy in place for the BYOD method. Employees need to be educated on this policy, understanding what can and cannot be done on their own devices while at work. Companies should also monitor emails and documents that are downloaded, as well as implement mobile security solutions.

Protect yourself from third-party service providers

Some companies rely on outsourcing and vendors to help support and maintain certain systems. For example, restaurant franchisees often outsource the maintenance and management of their point-of-sale systems to a third-party service provider. Unfortunately, these third parties use remote access tools to connect to the company’s network, but don’t necessarily follow appropriate security measures. This can result in hackers gaining passwords to various networks.

When employing third-party providers, make sure that the best security measures are practiced. It’s also a good idea to enforce multifactor authentication, such as requiring unique credentials for each user. And don’t forget to disable third-party accounts as soon as they are no longer being used.

Do you have any other protection tips to help fellow business executives stay safe? Perhaps you have personal experience with other methods of security that have proven to work? Let us know!

RECENT TOPIC: Companies must not overlook big data security needs

[SOURCE: CIO

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