If you’ve been following the news, the Internet of Things is getting increasing attention. You’re probably also thinking this is some Silicon Valley fancy thing that will take years to reach the rest Not really. You probably already have some items of your own tied into the Internet of Things. First of all, what is the I of T? Simply, it is any object that collects data about itself or its surroundings, and then transfers that data across a network to some other object, which can then make use of that data. For example, if you have a baby monitor that sends crib pictures...

    Not-for-profits have an unusual issue regarding security. Firms that have trained, paid full-time employees have a strong level of control over the actions of their workers. NPOs, however, may rely heavily on volunteers whose time in the office may be minimal and sporadic. You may feel grateful for their dedication and be less likely to subject them to rigid security training. Also, a threat of punishment for those who make inadvertent errors that create security risks isn’t going to be acceptable in the “volunteer” environment. Though it may seem a waste of precious...

    So you feel relatively comfortable that you have created cyber security around your data and your employees are trained to avoid security errors in their day-to-day business ( a MAJOR source of security breaches, by the way.) However, you may be overlooking one area where you are exceptionally vulnerable. What protection do you have from those you do business with? If you are a manufacturer, for example, you may have several vendors who provide components and raw materials. How careful are they about data security? Smaller producers and service providers may perceive themselves...

    Did you know the illicit trading of personal data was worth $3.88 billion last year? Cybercrime is a growing industry known for its innovation. It goes far beyond the image many of us have of some hacker kid in his basement. Many who engage in this activity are professionals and work in large teams. Some may even be sponsored by governments. If you follow the news, you can find large corporations and even government agencies who have fallen prey to hackers and had massive amounts of data compromised. Unfortunately, this has led smaller firms to feel they fly below the radar. In...

Any business that stores customer payment information must comply with a number of state and federal regulations. The legal, healthcare, and financial sectors have a number of laws tailored specifically for them (such as HIPAA or CISPA). If you run almost any kind of professional practice or agency you probably have very specific data security requirements. Running afoul of these regulations puts you at risk for legal action and probably means that you have bad security in place. As a professional, your focus needs to be on your clients and running your firm....

    If you are a smaller Not-for-Profit, it is likely that your organization has been driven from its inception by individuals strongly motivated with a passion for their cause or humanitarian goal. As a result, it is also possible that the leadership has little interest in developing the administrative technology infrastructure that is necessary for any organization to function in the internet age. Failure to understand and focus on technology can damage an organization’s growth and success. However, NPO leadership has to be laser focused on the day-to-day struggles of the...

    You can have all the locks on your data center and have all the network security available, but nothing will keep your data safe if your employees are careless with passwords. 1. Change Passwords – Most security experts recommend that companies change out all passwords every 30 to 90 days. 2. Require passwords that mix upper and lowercase, number, and a symbol. 3. Teach employees NOT to use standard dictionary words ( in any language), or personal data that can be known, or can be stolen: addresses, telephone numbers, SSNs, etc. 4. Emphasize that employees should not access...

MLS Exclusivity: A Challenge for Realtors Up to the late 1990s, real estate brokerages conducted business with the same tools and business models that had been in place for decades. With the development of the Internet, along came new challenges for real estate brokers that are altering the landscape. One such example is that online brokerages are forcing conventional real estate entities to share their most useful tool called the Multiple Listings System, also known as MLS. How is it all shaping up? Here are some of the developments that have taken place within last few years...

95% of all security incidents involve human error. Ashley Schwartau of The Security Awareness Company says the two biggest mistakes a company can make are “assuming their employees know internal security policies” and “assuming their employees care enough to follow policy.” To avoid falling into these traps, you must: a) Have a plan, b) Educate users about your plan, and c) Make them care about procedures. To give a quick summary, you need to have a defense plan for each of the layers that a hacker can attack: the physical layer (i.e. you need policies to...

Small-to-medium sized businesses and large enterprises may seem worlds apart, but they face many of the same cyber-security threats.   In fact, in recent years, cyber-criminals have increasingly targeted SMBs.  This is because it’s widely known that SMBs have a smaller budget and less in-house expertise to devote to protection.  Thankfully, there are several things SMBs can do today to get more from even the most limited security budget that doesn’t involve cutting corners.  Far too often, SMBs cut the wrong corners and it ends up costing them more money in the long run....