A recent infographic by the insurance company Travelers has shown that on average the cost of a lost laptop is $49,246, after taking into account a holistic total of the data loss. Although costs such as laptop replacement, lost productivity time and investigation costs are significant, they all pale in comparison to the cost of a data breach or lost intellectual property – each of which cost $39,926 and $5,871, respectively. Aside from physical threats, companies also need to worry about threats to their digital infrastructure. Although the field of information security is always evolving, there are a few key points which will help protect against the majority of threats on the internet and keep you safe from cyber crime.
Protect Your Website. The most important thing to keep in mind with websites is that they are never “set it and forget it.” Even if your website is fairly static and does not change often, as security threats are constantly evolving, your websites always need to be running the latest and greatest security patches. Although updating your website might sound daunting, many modern website platforms can update themselves with the click of a mouse. Typically, if your website is due for an update a notice will appear when logging into your control panel with a button to install the relevant features. Just remember to log into your website control panel at least once a week and before making any changes, ensure you have a working backup of your website. For many small businesses, WordPress is an excellent platform to construct a site because it is a leading platform and it has hundreds of thousands of developers which support the development.
Encryption Is A Must. When it comes to storing your sensitive data, keep in mind that whether it’s stored online or on a local hard drive, encryption is always a must. Although there are paid encryption tools on the market, which promise iron-clad security, as a rule of thumb if the encryption software is not fully open-source (meaning the code is fully available to the public) you should avoid the program. Although this might seem counter-intuitive, the reason security experts insist on using open-source programs is because it ensures that the encryption does not have a backdoor which can be exploited by malicious individuals. For most of my encryption needs, I have been using TrueCrypt and it is a must have for anyone who needs to protect sensitive data.
Change Your Passwords. Passwords are the Achilles heel for virtually any website because users today simply don’t have the mental capacity to keep creating unique passwords for every website they sign up for. LastPass is a tool which helps professionals overcome this obstacle. By providing users with a highly secure password database in the cloud, which can integrate with fingerprint readers, and two-factor authentication amongst many other protection options, users are able to generate unique and secure passwords without worrying about memorization. LastPass literally does all the legwork for users by offering form filling and auto login capability. While storing passwords “in the cloud” might sound counter intuitive, LastPass goes above and beyond when it comes to ensuring the privacy and integrity of client data by using military grade encryption which has never been cracked. Additionally there are numerous safeguards to protect against brute-force attacks and people trying to guess the login information.
In general, security is a subject which applies to all businesses no matter how big or small. While these tips are intended to help lay a solid foundation for your company, as every company is different, it is vital to consult with an IT expert fluent in security so they can develop a security package specifically around your company.
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