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....

Disaster recovery and business continuity plans are issues that almost all small businesses fail to think about. More frequently, they decide they haven’t the resources to address such “unthinkables.” If your business was down for 1-2 days or more, what costs would you incur? Lost revenues and lost productivity – These are obvious. You won’t make the money that you would have if you remained open. This is especially true if you provide a service. Services are inherently tied to time, and time cannot be re-created. Sure, you can work extra hours next...

Remember… Always Practice Safe BYOD No matter what blog or magazine read these days, it seems like everyone is talking about today’s increasingly mobile workforce and the BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) movement. We live in an exciting time when work can be done at any time from any place. Employees love the fact that they can get work done on their iPad as they sit poolside sipping a Pina Colada. Businesses love the cost savings along with the happier and more productive employees they’re noticing. Meanwhile, customers and clients take note that their emails are...

Small-to-medium sized businesses today face many challenges, particularly things like increased mobile device use and unexpected network growth. While every business wants to grow, the problem with unplanned growth is that it can quickly turn chaotic from a technical standpoint; often resulting in companies and organizations sloppily scrambling to add new users, devices, and applications to meet service expectations. When immediate needs take precedent over business-as-usual there can be long-term ramifications – even previously organized networks can rapidly deteriorate...

Four Key Components of a Robust Security Plan Every SMB Must Know Most businesses are now technology dependent. This means security concerns aren’t just worrisome to large corporate enterprises anymore, but also the neighborhood sandwich shop, the main street tax advisor, and the local non-profit. Regardless of size or type, practically any organization has valuable digital assets and data that should not be breached under any circumstances. This makes it the responsibility of every business, especially those collecting and storing customer/client information, to implement a...