Friday, April 14, 2017

What is Cyber Security & How Does it Affect My Business?

In Part I, What is Cyber Security & How Does it Affect Me?, we explained what cyber security is and covered some myths about data security. In the continuation of the cyber security topic, we will further discuss some business myths and tips to help reduce risk. The advanced post, Cyber Security: How to Implement IT Policies of Protection, covers the use of group policy editor to centrally manage user security settings.

What is Cyber Security & How Does it Affect My Business?

To recap, cyber security is a set of processes that focus on protecting the most important aspects of your business: your customer information and business data. It is the method of protecting information from being stolen, compromised or attacked. Processes include securing and protecting network and computer equipment as well as preventing unauthorized access, damage and attack to equipment and data.

Data Protection Myths - Businesses

As employees come and go from a business it can seem simpler not to worry about the accounts they used when accessing company resources. Allowing former employees to gain access to company resources, whether to a website, email, or other service, can be very risky. It is best practice to disable employee accounts in a timely manner after they leave.

The intent of the former employee could be innocent, but having information shared with the wrong person could be damaging and even difficult to recover from. Whatever the reasoning, it is much better to disable accounts of former employees rather than potentially facing more complicated issues later.

Whether intentional or not, former employees can cause damage to a business and it is best to make sure all accounts with access to company information be maintained and disabled when employees leave.

In some situations there is no way to predict who will handle being let go from a position appropriately. Oftentimes people are released from their job due to no fault of their own. Perhaps there was a mismanagement in another department, a process is being shifted, a change in the fickle market, or any other reason that has nothing to do with the person being let go.

Unfortunately, even when providing a severance package to soften the blow, this might not be enough to reduce the sting and prevent inappropriate behavior. Worse yet, it can take a single angry employee to delete important customer information, business records, and other valuable data and put your business in a catastrophic state. It is important to implement policies to reduce risk, but also to have a plan of action in place in case a catastrophic even occurs. 

When letting an employee go, a severance package may or may not prevent them from acting out against the company. Be sure you have a sufficient backup policy in place (see Myth 1 in the previous post), in addition to shutting down user accounts promptly once they are no longer a part of your business (see Myth 3 above).

Cyber security is important to customers and businesses alike. Whether you own a business or not, you likely shop places both in person and online. Trust is a common requirement necessary before a customer will do business with any particular company. As a business, keeping private customer information safe needs to be a priority. Continued education about internal and external threats, coupled with policies that can be implemented to better protect customers, is vital.

As always when it comes to tech, the more you are aware of, the better your decisions, responses, and practices will be. Stay safe!

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  2. Thank you Richard! We truly appreciate your feedback and hope you will continue to find our topics interesting and helpful.