If your business uses the internet or any other network application to reach customers, the question you should be asking yourself is this: Is my business secure? Check out some of the common security issues among businesses today, as well as simple ways you can protect yourself, your business, and your customers:
Security Issue #1: Worms and Viruses
According to Cisco Systems, 75 percent of small and medium-sized businesses were affected by a least one virus over the last year. Worms and viruses can have a devastating effect on a business. Be sure that your computer systems and any other electronic access to your business is armed with the appropriate programs to detect and repel worms, viruses and spyware at all points of contact.
Security Issue #2: Information Theft
Unfortunately, information theft is a lucrative business. Hackers break into business networks to steal credit card and other personal information from consumers. They then sell that information to the highest bidder for a large profit. Make the investment to protect your network using firewalls or other protective software. Additionally, you must make sure you have internal policies and procedures in place to keep this information out of the hands of your employees as well.
Security Issue #3: Security Legislation
Federal and state privacy laws dictate strict adherence to the privacy of customer data. In certain industries, your business is held accountable for the adherence to these laws, and ignorance of these laws is not a defense in a court of law. So, it is imperative that you are clear on the steps you must take to protect your data at all costs. Check with your attorney and/or compliance officer to be sure you are in compliance with all of the privacy rules and regulations applicable to your particular industry. Non-compliance with privacy laws can be costly and potentially devastating to your reputation as well as your profitability.
What can you do?
With every advance in technology comes new ways to exploit that technology for gain. New hardware or software releases present such opportunities. When peer-to-peer networking and instant messaging were still relatively new applications, for example, their users were attacked by malicious code written specifically for them. Now, mobile phones are frequent targets of viruses. Without the ability to predict what is coming next, the best defense is one that can easily adapt to future threats, and that is affordable.
The best thing you can do as a business is to keep up-to-date on all anti-virus and malware software, maintain employee policies that limit the use of outside or non-business programs or software, and continuously monitor your system for performance and other threats. Diligence and preparation are the keys to preventing a major catastrophe at your organization.