Is the security of one of your business most important asset taken seriously? Are you doing anything to keep you data secure and protected?

Security around your technology investment Is more critical than ever. The most valuable asset your business has is its data – your business data and you customer data. In the U.S. Companies such as eBay, Home Depot and JPmorgan have had anywhere between 50 million and 145 million records stolen (The Financial Review 2nd September 2015).

More recently there has been the very public release of private data from the dating site Ashley Madison. Now whilst these are high profile targets, they are not the only targets. Australian Small and Medium business are targeted each and every day in a variety of ways, not necessarily as targeted, but attacks are always happening and every evolving.

So what can you do. Firstly be aware. Understand and realise that there is a risk and it can happen to you. You need to be vigialnt and mindful of what emails you are opening, what links you are clicking and what web sites you are visiting. The attacks now days are sophisticated, targeted and can be very difficult to spot.

Just this week I was the target of a phishing attack (someone looking to gather personal information from me). The email I received looked so legitimate and appeared to come from one of our niche suppliers that it was very tempting to click the link – but what stopped me? Just taking a second look at the senders address and the link and there were a few characters int eh email address that were different and the link went to a site other than my suppliers – whilst looking very official and very legitimate these two small items were the giveaway.

And you may say I am a tech and that comes easy, that may be partly so, but it is the awareness to think before simply clicking or replying and taking a second look.

Customers have been targeted also but people using what appears to be the customers domain name, but with two letters different. Even the names being used in the email were accurate, but there was a very small difference in the senders email address.

If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t – if in doubt, take a second look and get a second opinion.

So apart from being aware, what else can you do. At the very lest do the following

  • Ensure you have up to date Virus software on your computer, and better still virus software that will scan web sites you are visiting
  • Ensure you software is updated – be it MAC or Windows – ensure updates are applied each month. This is become a little easier with Windows 10, but a regular scan and update is always recommended.
  • Backup your data – always and off-site. If the worst does happen you want to be surer you have all your critical data protected.

If these things are not happening then the impact to you and your business to productivity and profitability  can be seriously impacted – extended downtime, lost data and unstable systems – these will impact greatly on your business.

Be aware, be vigilant and keep updated to reduce the risk of infection. Systems will not be bullet proof, but with the right systems and continual education you can reduce that risk.