Since SC Taxpayers’ information has been hacked by criminals, what can businesses do to protect themselves from hackers? While most organizations have network security with firewalls, firewalls may no longer be enough. It is easy enough for an experienced hacker to break through a firewall. More security can help, as well as knowing who is vulnerable to hacking and how the hackers operate.
If you are hacked, timing is critical. The sooner you discover that you may have been hacked, the better. The SC incident points out that the time from the actual hacking to the notification was due in part to a lack on the part of SC’s ability to discover the hacking themselves—the Secret Service made the discovery.
What can you do to beef up your security to protect against these crimes?
First, businesses need to be scrupulous about monitoring their internet security, remembering that compliance is NOT synonymous with actual security. Just because you may be in compliance with requirements for security measures, you may not have any real security in place. Most organized crime hackers are ahead of companies. These criminals target business and government, both of which are vulnerable to being hacked, especially since the criminals make hacking into business and government their priority.
Second, all computer information needs to be closely monitored to keep the hackers from using employees (through emails, social networks, etc.) to access private information.
What to do? Some ways to protect your business are:
- Improved security (internal and physical security: cloud servers, vendors, and the company’s own sites)
- Planned defense measures in the event of a hack
- Rapid detection (SC’s delay in discovery and notification was detrimental)
- Careful monitoring (of employees and systems)
- A security provider (hiring one is a good idea for small companies)
Spending money on beefing up security is worth the expense. Having someone onsite who is in charge is imperative for protection from hackers.
While nothing in cyberspace is foolproof, taking certain measures to improve company security can make a difference in the constant battle to protect secure, sensitive information from hackers.
Of course, Cyber Risk Insurance is a critical part of the equation to protecting the governmental entity or private business against cyber crime.
Source: Protect Data from Lurkers and Hackers COLUMBIABUSINESSMONTHLY.COM, December 2012.