Data Security panel of experts:
Lee Neubecker, President and CEO of Forensicon Inc., spoke on the “threat environment” businesses face, best practices for “Pre-Breach Protection,” and what steps to take after a breach is discovered.
Michael Furman, MB Financial Bank Vice President and IT Security Officer, offered tips on collaborating with your bank and managing your internal online account access to protect against cyber criminals who target business accounts.
Kevin Rankin, Senior Underwriter, Department of Financial Institutions for the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, described the need to go beyond the “Standard Property Policy” for coverage that covers Electronic Data.
Thomas J. Smedinghoff, Partner, Edward Wildman Palmer, LLP, talked about the legal obligations that every firm has in relation to keeping information safe.
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Cyber criminals are targeting business. Why? Because that’s where the money is. And more and more they are targeting mid-sized and smaller businesses because they have realized that these firms are often more vulnerable than the bigger ones; if Target’s data can be compromised, yours can too. They’re not after your identity. They’re looking to use your data in any way they can to compromise you and customers whose information you keep.
A recent MB Financial Bank Speaker Series assembled a panel of experts to focus on the subject of data security. From their talks, these six key suggestions emerged:
Plan for data security. It doesn’t just happen. Take the time to look at where important data is within your organization: who has access to it and how. Consider which data needs to have a greater level of security and how you are currently safeguarding your data. Then develop a response plan if your data is compromised. Planning for data security is a little like insurance: few people love to spend time on it but when you need it you’re glad you did. So invest the time today.
Traditional anti-virus/malware software is not dead. Use it. Scammers try to take over your computers with programs called trojans. Some are designed to steal your data and some hold it ransom, where you can't access your own information until you pay them a hefty sum. Many trojans are designed to steal data or account credentials. Imagine being shut out from doing business because you can’t access customer files. Good old-fashioned anti-virus and anti-malware software will help protect you. But keep it current. And make sure it is installed and running on your servers, workstations, email systems, and Internet gateways.
Run a full scan on your equipment as frequently as practical. Make a habit of running a full scan using your anti-virus software on a regular basis. If you have a trusted admin, maybe that’s something they do first thing each morning. Just to make sure something didn’t creep in overnight.
Train your staff about the inherent dangers of email and social media. Information pirates are incredibly clever. They disguise their efforts in friendly exchanges, in offers to help, in “news” that appears to be from partners, vendors and other trusted organizations. At work, your team needs to operate under a caution alert: if it looks and acts even a little unusual, there’s a chance it’s something harmful. So don’t open it, don’t respond to it, don’t touch it until someone has verified that it’s legitimate. A short company meeting to remind your team of the cleverness of these pirates will be worth the time spent.
Consider cyber insurance. Yes, insurance against the loss or compromising of your assets through digital activities. The standard property policy only covers tangible property, and data is not considered tangible. Yet, unbelievably, only one in 10 companies has cyber insurance. Talk with your insurance provider: language differs, but anything a company or its employees do gathering or distributing information to the public can be covered.
There are legal obligations relating to data security. We often think that only firms such as financial or healthcare organizations that keep confidential information have a legal obligation to keep it safe. Not true; every organization has two legal requirements pertaining to information: one is to provide reasonable security for corporate data. And the other is to disclose security breaches to warn affected parties. Which takes us back to the beginning: plan for data security.
Your MB Financial banker can connect you with experts within MB that can help make our interactions, and your data, as secure as possible. Because, when you run a business, protecting it never takes a backseat.
Download a printable copy of Six Data Security Tips.