The loss of personal and business information that’s happening at a troubling rate is an extremely destructive and costly issue. In today’s business environment, the scope of data breach that includes healthcare facilities, private companies and governments among others is not only expansive, it’s dangerous.
Potential Weak Point: Business Email
One weak point centers on business email and security. This risk even includes many popular social media sites where it’s quite common for members to use an email address as a user name. Good security policies that require employees to do frequent password changes are helpful, but that’s just the beginning. Encryption is key and making sure employees know what the risks are when it comes to day-to-day email use will help keep security problems at bay. Using anti-spam software and a dependable business email vendor will also go a long way towards keeping your email system secure.
Unsecured Wi-Fi Risks
Another growing security challenge involves the use of unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots available in airports, offices, coffee shops and hotels. Unfortunately, even with elite luxury hotels, the Wi-Fi networks are in the same league as unsecured coffee shop networks. This weakness exposes hotel guests to hackers that can compromise confidential information. In fact, reports show increased attacks on devices connected to hotel systems. And what better place for hackers to target than an upscale hotel frequented by wealthy guests?
There’s no question that Wi-Fi hotspots are convenient, especially when employees are traveling. But at what cost? The added element is that many business people are unaware of the risks, so employees who spend time on the road should be aware of the security risks.
The World of Data Breach in 2013
Based on recent network data breach stats, 76 percent of the reported incidents involved stolen or weak credentials. In such a case, the loss of confidential business email and sensitive company information could be a disaster. At-risk items include proprietary business data, unauthorized banking access, debit/credit card transactions, sensitive employee information and system access.
The Continued Increase in Telecommuters
The number of people working from home offices has dramatically increased every year. Both employers and employees are saving money, expenses have been reduced, workers are happier and more productive and it’s better for the environment. American business has embraced this trend that’s projected to grow.
Employees working for large companies are typically given permission to use remote access virtual private networks (VPNs) that give them the ability to use the shared file resources, research and printers. For SMBs, the use of VPNs is not always as prevalent and many remote workers use their own personal computers at home offices and therein lies the possible opportunity for data breach. If a home wireless system isn’t encrypted, the threat of data breach measurably increases. Any potential hacker with a reliable directional antenna and an ideal sight line can snoop data whether he’s located a mile away or in a nearby parked car. Professional software is a way to ensure data privacy with the proper encryption software and it’s essential.
Even an enterprise-level company won’t be immune to security issues, but making sure employees are aware or potential dangers, implementing the right software and instituting the right encryption methods can do a great deal to avoid the dangers that could add up to disaster for your organization.
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