Yesterday, it was reported that Russian hackers attacked JPMorgan Chase & Co. in mid-August. Gigabytes of data were reportedly stolen by using "zero day" attacks (meaning vulnerabilities that were previously unknown). Many news sources are reporting that the attack was so highly sophisticated that the hackers must be state-sponsored. The FBI is currently investigating.
There is no clear report yet on how much information was compromised or what this means for JPMorgan customers. It also appears that another bank was involved, although JPMorgan is the only one to have been named as of yet.
This attack brings up some serious concerns for JPMorgan clients, but it also causes other businesses, small and large, to stop and think about their own data security. Even though most of us will probably never experience being hacked by Russians, it does not mean that a small business should not be concerned about the security and vulnerability of their data.
Here are 3 ways to protect your business data:
1. Password Protect
The computer you use every day at the office has a multitude of data and information on it, so be sure to protect that data. Don't make it easy for anyone to simply walk into your office and log on, or steal your business laptop and access a multitude of information.
Instead, password protect EVERYTHING. Create accounts for multiple users, that way each individual is responsible for their own data on each computer. Passwords should be unique, strong, and changed at least every 3 months to ensure maximum protection.
And don't forget Wi-Fi and other networks. Be sure to password protect and keep networks hidden so that those who try to use them have an added layer of security.
2. Install With Caution
Select quality antivirus and antispyware software to use on all devices. This software should be used to run security scans often and should be updated whenever new updates are available.
Keep in mind that installing new software is dangerous, and should not be an easy thing to do for the average user. Instead, make sure to password protect any new installations on office computers, and keep the password holders to a minimum. This will keep that naive employee from downloading something malicious onto their computer, as well as someone who may have not so good intentions.
3. Train Employees
This means investing time in setting expectations for how employees handle company data, social media, passwords, logins, and so forth. The most trustworthy and honest of your employees can make a mistake, so be sure to equip them with the knowledge they need to avoid these mistakes.
Impressing the importance of data security on your employees is important as it may open the eyes of those who do not truly understand what is at stake. And always train them to alert the appropriate person if they notice any suspicious downloads or other reasons for concern on any of the office equipment or resources they use to store information.
Although most small businesses don't expect to be a target for Russian hackers, that does not mean it can't happen, or won't happen. Taking the necessary precautions to ensure that your business' information is protected is important for the company as well as the safety of client's information. No business should allow themselves to be vulnerable to attacks. Instead, take the precautions necessary to protect your data and business technology.
Here at Premier Business Centers, we care about the success and security of your small business. We offer flexible rates on executive suites, office space, and meeting rooms all across the United States to ensure that your business has the office space and address it needs to be successful.