Make it Your Company’s Business to Avoid Being Hacked

Posted by on June 6, 2011 in Business Start Up Advice, Business Technology, Security Systems [ 0 Comments ]

Whether it was Sony, Nintendo or Lockheed Martin, the news has been filled lately with stories of prime businesses having their computers hacked.

With the technology age moving faster than a speeding bullet, more and more businesses are noting concerns of being able to keep their company information to themselves.

Just last week in the news, China denied it had its hand in a hacking scheme that hit a number of Google email users, something Google claims originated within China.

According to Google, an undisclosed number of Gmail accounts were breached, including some belonging to senior U.S. government officials, military personnel and political activists. Google claims it was able to pinpoint the origin of the attacks to a Chinese city that is home to a military vocational school, the same site that was tied to an attack on Google’s systems more than a year ago.

The attacks reportedly involved tricking individuals into thinking they are dealing with a person they know or a business they trust. Once the “phishing” attacks obtain the information necessary to break into an email account, the access is available to relay messages to trick other individuals.

A Chinese government spokesman claimed something we already knew; that hacking is a global issue, adding Chinese networks had also been victims of hackers.

Google, meantime, said each hacking victim had been notified and their accounts were now secure.

So if a major company like Google can be hacked, what can your smaller business do to protect itself from such invasions?

The first and most obvious step is to make sure your company’s software is updated, especially as it pertains to the operating system and web browser.

If you haven’t already, make sure you have a firewall installed. There are a number of different software products available to choose from.

Your business will also want to have an antivirus in place; there is an array of products available, and it is recommended that you take advantage of the different trial periods to find which one is best for your company.

Last but not least, employers will want to make sure their computers are protected with an anti-spyware program, therefore decreasing the odds of an invasion of privacy.

Given that hackers are looking around the clock for flaws and/or openings in company’s systems and browsers, office security settings for the system and browser should be set at medium or greater.

For those companies that utilize wireless networks, it is important to encrypt the communications by selecting a wireless router with an encryption feature. Keep in mind that the computer, router, and other necessities need to utilize the same encryption. To help keep hackers at bay, employers should change the default identifier on their router and the pre-set administrative password.

When an employee is using a company laptop or their own to do company-related business outside the office, remember that public “hot spots” are not always secure. Remind employees when in such situations to avoid receiving or sending sensitive information through a public wireless network.

Smaller businesses and larger ones for that matter do not have to be the victims of hackers; take the time to make sure your protection is in place and continuously updated.

For hackers, it is game on.

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