Data Security – It’s the New Anti-Virus

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keyIn the wake of the hacking at Sony Pictures, and the ensuing conversation about its causes, including the claim that, “The Interview,” provoked North Korea to hack and attack the company, data security is top of mind in the IT World. If a large name brand company like Sony Pictures can have its computer systems compromised, data stolen and wiped, the number of risk factors for smaller companies is obviously quite high. IT support in Litchfield, and in other big IT areas of the country, are doing a booming trade as companies seek to identify their technology vulnerabilities.

Simon, Support Technician at MT Services, says, “we are seeing companies take data security increasingly seriously. Even companies starting up are worried. Whilst it is true that information and data are at risk, there are ways to protect it. It is really about taking a measured approach to data, and getting things in perspective.”

Still, there are many companies taking the view they are too small to be targets of such attacks. “Hackers want attention!” they exclaim, before proceeding to spend very little on any form of IT security. The reality is this is a naïve stance for these organisations to take. Not only does it place their business at risk, it puts their customers’ data and personal security at risk as well. Since they have not figured out that data security is to the modern IT era what anti virus software was to Windows 95 (an essential), here are just a few of the negative consequences of data insecurity.

  1. Identity Theft – One of the most difficult crimes for an individual to recover from is identity theft. There are a variety of factors that make identity theft particularly difficult to recover from. Chief amongst them is the usual ruination of credit, as most identity thieves are looking to use the victims good solid credit record to steal money from banks. For the victim, it can take years to clear their name and have their identity restored, and even after it is, their identity remains compromised indefinitely. There are many ways to do this, so it is important for companies and individuals to be vigilant.
  2. Destruction of Data – Corporate data is critical to running any business. Everything from HR files that dictate pay rates to emails used for audit logging is important to store for future reference. Many of these features and functions are not only used to manage all corporate communications, they manage the company’s Rolodex of contacts, sales connections, and current sales campaigns. The recent Sony Hackers not only stole the data they destroyed it as they left the server. In fact Sony Pictures had to delay its earnings report because it was still recovering data.
  3. Lawsuits ­– If your organisation has a security breach that compromises your customers’ data then it will be held legally liable. This is especially true if the business does transactions in the United States. Last year Target lost 40 million credit card numbers to a hack, and is likely to be on the hook for billions in compensation and legal fees.
  4. Financial Loss/Reputation – Lastly and most importantly, if you have a breach that results in compromised customer data, your company will end up in the media. Nothing says bad business, like having your customers’ personal data and credit card information stolen by thieves.  
Published by Kidal Delonix (764 Posts)

Kidal Delonix is a contributor to Mr. Hoffman's blog. The views and opinions are entirely his/her own and may not reflect Mr Hoffman's views.

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