Monthly Archives: June 2013

5 Steps to Protect Your Business from Cyber Crime

5 Steps to Protect Your Business from Cyber Crime

A Seattle company was recently broken into and a stash of old laptops was stolen. Just a typical everyday crime by typical everyday thieves. These laptops weren’t even being used by anyone in the company. The crime turned out to be anything but ordinary when those same thieves (cyber-criminals) used data from the laptops to obtain information and siphon money out of the company via fraudulent payroll transactions. On top of stealing money, they also managed to steal employee identities.

Another small company was hacked by another “company” that shared the same high-rise office building with them. Management only became aware of the theft once they started seeing unusual financial transactions in their bank accounts. Even then, they didn’t know if there was internal embezzlement or external cybertheft. It turned out to be cybertheft. The thief in this case drove a Mercedes and wore a Rolex watch…and looked like anyone else walking in and out of their building. Welcome to the age of cybercrime.

You Are Their Favorite Target

One of the biggest issues facing small businesses in the fight against cybercrime is the lack of a cyber-security plan. While 83% lack a formal plan, over 69% lack even an informal one. Half of small business owners believe that cybercrime will never affect them. In fact, small businesses are a cybercriminal’s favorite target! Why? Small businesses are not prepared and they make it easier on criminals.

The result? Cyber-attacks cost SMBs an average of $188,242 each incident and nearly two-thirds of the businesses affected are out of business within 6 months (2011 Symantec/NCSA Study). A separate study by Verizon showed that over 80% of small business cybercrime victims were due to insufficient network security (wireless and password issues ranked highest). With insecure networks and no formal plan to combat them, we make it easy on the criminals.

How They Attack

The #1 money-generating technique these “bad guys” use is to infect your systems with malware so that whenever you (or your employees) visit a website and enter a password (Facebook, bank, payroll, etc.), the malware programs harvest that data and send it off to the bad guys to do their evil stuff.
They can get to you through physical office break-ins, “wardriving” (compromising defenseless wireless networks) or e-mail phishing scams and harmful web sites. Cyber-criminals are relentless in their efforts, and no one is immune to their tricks.

5 Steps to Protect Your Business

-Get Educated. Find out the risks and educate your staff.

-Do a Threat Assessment. Examine your firewall, anti-virus protection and anything connected to your network. What data is sensitive or subject to data-breach laws?

-Create a Cyber-Security Action Plan. Your plan should include both education and a “fire drill.”

-Monitor Consistently. Security is never a one-time activity. Monitoring 24/7 is critical.

-Re-Assess Regularly. New threats emerge all the time and are always changing. You can only win by staying ahead!

I hope you will find this post informative and useful. I am looking forward to hearing your comments. That’s all I have for today, until next time make it a great day!
Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Apple Picking?

Apple Picking?

Apples are picked on crowded subways, in quiet parks, on busy street corners, in loud bars. Apples are picked while people are talking on the phone, the picker dashing past and doing the deed in midstride.

I’m not talking about Red Delicious apples. I’m referring to the Apple iPhone. Many major cities have seen an increase in the crime rate because of the Apple iPhone. In New York City alone in 2012 there were 16,000 Apple “pickings”, or 14% of all crimes.

Here are 5 simple things you can do to take the “drama” out of your life and maybe avoid having your phone stolen.

Be Aware – When texting or listening to music you may “zone” out of your recent reality. You become unaware of your surroundings. That makes you a perfect target.

Get Insurance – If you live in an urban area or travel a lot, consider getting “specialized device insurance.” You may also be able to add it through your renters or homeowners for a small yearly cost.

Install Device Recovery Applications – There are several available for Android phones and Apple’s “Find My iPhone” app is pre-installed. You can track it, and as a last resort “wipe” all of your personal data, but cannot render the phone unusable.

Back Up Your Device – While the phone may have monetary value, it also contains much personal information such as your contacts, and photos. So back it up.

Don’t Argue, Give The Thief The Phone! – You can buy a new phone. You, on the other hand, are irreplaceable.
Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off