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Posts published in “small business security”

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Protecting a Vital Asset – Data Recovery and Protection Planning

As a small business owner or manager, you understand the benefits of an agile team that isn’t held back by corporate bureaucracy. This allows you to make faster decisions and ideally take advantage of opportunities that help you grow. Despite the differences in operational and managerial styles, small companies can certainly learn some lessons from bigger firms. After all, they once started out small and must have made some smart moves along the way. One shared lesson is the need for planning and some measure of structure. Companies of any size should have marketing and overall business plans that provide a roadmap for revenue and growth. They should also have a plan for protecting data, which is typically a firm’s most important asset (besides people.) The modern small business runs on data. Whether your company produces candles and knick-knacks or offers custom software, data is essential. Protecting this data warrants the creation of a data management and recovery plan: Create a formal plan. first step is to admit that you need a plan and to then devote time to a formal written plan. Adding some formality to the process means you and your team take it seriously and holds you accountable to the plan’s requirements. Set an aggressive deadline for the first draft of the plan, and involve everyone in the organization to help you put the plan into motion. Even if you’re a one-person shop you still need a plan to protect your data, especially if you grow quickly and pull in new and more complex data sets. Gather and collect. A core part of your plan must detail how you’ll collect and then organize all of the company’s relevant data. Don’t overlook data sources that can prove invaluable, and consider deleting data that you are sure is no longer needed. Pay special attention to customer data, especially any that contains identifying personal information such as addresses, SSNs, or payment data. You want data from every platform and device, including your email contact system, digital camera content, and everything in between. Standardize how data should move from creation to…

3 Ways to Spot a Phishing Scam

Email phishing scams remain the primary method hackers use to obtain victims’ personal data. Email is the most vulnerable form of communication because it is hugely pervasive, yet relatively easy to forge a counterfeit identity with. For a cybercriminal, email represents an easy way into nearly any organization. This is especially true of large businesses and enterprises, where individual employees probably do not know one another personally. An email that appears to come from an executive or upper management will often be taken at face value. This is a major problem for cybersecurity professionals because the human element is the most dynamic part of any cybersecurity policy. You can build the biggest, strongest, most secure walls around your data infrastructure, but it only takes one careless employee to accidentally invite the enemy through the front door. As a result, every good cybersecurity policy must offer guidance to educate workers on spotting suspicious emails. It must also provide for a process describing what to do with phishing scam emails – whether that means deleting them on the spot or sending them to a security team for verification. Importantly, this defensive approach relies on each employee’s ability to identify phishing scams and report them. Include the following red flags in your cybersecurity policy to ensure the best results. Mismatched Names Mismatched names are the biggest telltale signs of known phishing scams. Often, this is the case when an attacker is trying to impersonate a large, reputable company. Although the From field in your email client may seem correct, the actual email address may not correspond exactly to the company in question. For instance, there is a real difference between, “FedEx.com” and “Fed-Ex.com”, the hyphenated URL is part of a known phishing scam email address. Also, if an email message from a trusted third-party does not use your name in its opening, that could be a red flag. Unfortunately, it is extremely easy to forge an email address. Mismatched names represent the bottom line when it comes to creating a convincing phishing scam, so employees have to be on the lookout for other factors. Urgent Action Required Since cybercriminals can…

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