Data Protection: Security Threats You May Not Be Watching For

When the subject of proper Data Protection comes up, we immediately think of password protection, anti-virus and anti-malware software. And most of us feel we are adequately protected if we have those three items covered.

While these are accurate forms of data protection, they are not the ONLY forms of data protection that we should be considering. Here are a few other areas of concern you need to be aware of to truly protect your data.

1) Mobile Devices:

It was recently reported that mobile searches account for more than half of all browser searches conducted daily. And over recent years, more and more small businesses have opted for “BYOD” practices in their companies. BYOD stands for: “bring your own device” and it’s growing in popularity for obvious reasons; cost being the most obvious.

The costs of hardware and software can be insanely high and if you are providing a network of computers for your employees, you then have to consider hiring an IT staff to support them. It’s much less expensive if your employees bring their own device and maintain it themselves.

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The risk here however is obvious. If they are working on company projects which utilize sensitive company data they are at risk to be hacked by mobile malware. And as you have likely read in recent months, hackers are targeting company data, selling it, and in some cases ruining the reputations of the companies they have stolen from.

At the very least, they have compromised the integrity of the businesses they have hacked. Consider hiring a managed IT services team to protect you and your employees from this type of breach.

2) Social Media:

If your company uses social media to promote business, you need to be aware of the risks of doing so and protect against them. Earlier this year, it was reported that the U.S. Military social media sites were hacked and had to be taken offline while an investigation was conducted. If hackers can attack the Twitter and YouTube accounts used by the U.S. Military, they can certainly attack yours.

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Again, it would be wise to consider outsourcing your managed IT services so there will be a team of professionals monitoring your company’s social media presence.

3) Your Employees:

Whether they bring their own device to work or you have a network of computers at your business, one thing is for sure, your employees can be the biggest threat when it comes to data protection. In most cases, they don’t even know that they are a threat. Cyber criminals have opted to target persons vs. networks these days.

Some are even bold enough to impersonate a vendor and visually hack employees by watching them sign in and enter their passwords. While this means of hacking seems far-fetched, it has grown in popularity in recent years and will likely continue because it’s yet not being properly policed. Consider this threat when you train employees on computer safety and add this to your company policies so they are always top of mind.

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No matter how secure you think your businesses data is, it is safe to assume that there’s always room for improvement. Cyber criminals aren’t going away anytime soon, so you need to take steps to make sure you do not become their target by protecting your systems and your employees right away.

Robert A. Martin is the President of Great Lakes Computer and has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Akron. He joined the company in 1995 and has held multiple positions including Large Account Sales, Sales Manager, VP of Operations, and now serves as President.

Although he oversees all operations, Bob’s primary focus is in the areas of sales development, strategic direction, government sales and large account management. Bob lives in Avon, Ohio, is married and the father of two, and is an avid outdoorsman. Bob is the author of Great Lakes Tips on Tech Blog.

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