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Published On: Mon, Feb 12th, 2018

Exceptional Software Strategies, Inc. – Protecting Your Business from Online Hacking

Managing a business is getting tougher and tougher these days. You have to keep customers happy, manage your finances, deal with a constantly hanging employee landscape, and always be concerned about existing and new competition coming from anywhere in the world.

photo/ Gerd Altmann via pixabay

Sometimes you think you have everything under control and then you get hit with a new challenge. Perhaps there is some regulatory issue that has taken center stage, a new technology like block-chain looks to threaten everything you stand for or you find out you have been singled out for an IRS audit.

The worse possible bad news might just be that you have been hacked and your IT department has no idea which or how much information has been compromised. This is a common issue today and one that all companies no matter their size must contend with. It places and extreme amount of demands on the IT department and even more on management who will ultimately be responsible if some important company managed data goes missing.

But what is happening that causes so many data hacks these days? And how can a company respond to make itself hack proof?

The primary reason for so many hacks today lies with the way companies now deal with their employees and their data.

How Companies Controlled Data in the Past

Data is perhaps a company’s most prized possession and t used to be treated as such. In order to gain access to a company’s data you need to utilize certain software that was cleared for security by the company IT department.  There was a clear mandate for how it was accessed and anyone who gained access to it, was tracked and followed as was the data that was accessed. Additionally, there were only certain ways the data could be accessed from a hardware standpoint. Many companies had specific terminal that an employee had to use that were only connected to the sensitive data. These terminals were not connected to the company’s other computer systems, so again access was very controlled.

For anyone outside of the allowed employees to gain access to sensitive data, was extremely difficult. The person had to overcome both the hardware and software challenges and this eliminated virtually every threat.

The Challenges with Guarding Data Today

Today things have changed significantly. In many offices companies allow their employees to

Place lots of unsecured software on their work computers. This software can often have Trojans and viruses that seek access to any other computers in their network.  Data now is kept in the cloud and these same employees are allowed to use these compromised computers to access the cloud data, causing a much less secure environment for the sensitive data. Additionally more employees are using their personal devices in the office causing the potential for compromised or malicious software to get into the system. Remember, it is not only the employee’s computer or smart phone that must be compromised for a hack to occur. If the employee is connected to a compromised computer say through Facebook, there is the potential for that computer to hack into the company system once the person logs into Facebook at work. These types of scenarios which come about because companies feel the need to provide their workers with more perks at work and today being able to access their social media during work hours is a big perk, place great strain on even the most competent IT department and leave them scrambling to enact security protocols that protect the company’s data effectively.  

Expert online security companies like Exceptional Software Strategies, Inc suggest that companies eliminate any use of company computers for purposes outside of work and restrict the use of personal internet connected devices at the office. Companies need to set up strict protocols because once the data has been stolen it can mean the potential demise of the company.

Author: James Daniel

photo/ Jan Alexander

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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