4 Cybersecurity Mistakes to Avoid

Michael Daugherty’s medical-testing company was doing great with $4 million in yearly revenue.

He had no worries. He was running a business that was doing well. His business, LabMD – headquartered in Atlanta, had 30 employees ran blood, urine, and tissue sample tests for urologists. Everything was going well for this middle-aged businessman from Detroit.

That was until one afternoon in May 2008. He got a phone call that changed his life forever. It was a call from a man who claimed to have stolen a file full of LabMD patient documents. For a business, especially a medical business that had to comply with HIPAA regulations, this was one of the worst possible situations to be in.

How could this have happened? As the story goes, LabMD’s billing manager had been using a file-sharing software called LimeWire. It was used to download music, but she had unknowingly exposed her My Documents which contained medical records open to the public via LimeWire. Unfortunately, a hacker found the documents and downloaded them before LabMD even knew it was a problem. In one moment, Michael’s life and business took a turn for the worse.

LabMD and Michael now had to deal with multiple lawsuits and legal battles with the Federal Trade Commission along with other regulators. Michael refused to go down without a fight. In January 2014, he was exhausted both mentally and physically. Michael finally gave up and shut down his company.

A preventable data leak had taken down his entire company. Could this be you and your business?

4 Cybersecurity Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Do you feel you won’t be targeted because you are a small company? This is important. Do NOT develop a false sense of security. Whether you have 11 clients or 21,000 clients, your data looks like money to hackers. Something as simple as a profile with only name, address and phone number sells for as little as $1 on the black market. Add a couple more details like credit card information or SSNs, and the price suddenly becomes $300 per record, which is not uncommon. Hackers will find use in your data. Facing the fact that you aren’t immune is the first step to defending yourself.
  2. Are you looking to save money by cutting back on security? Of course, your budget is tight… Maybe you made a deal with one of your employees who wants to work from home sometimes. In order to do this, he connects to your company’s network through VPN. If done correctly, the VPN will be a secure and encrypted tunnel to your network. That’s not the problem. His home cable modem is. Being a consumer product, it may be vulnerable to attack, which is a common issue. Now, someone or something other than your employee can use that tunnel to attack your network.
  3. Is there an off-boarding process to protect your company? Keeping track of user accounts of each employee with security privileges is a fundamental part of security for businesses. When an employee leaves the company, IMMEDIATELY remove their accounts. Doing this prevents internal attacks from disgruntled workers which could do serious harm to your business. Make sure you close doors.
  4. Do you have security policies in place for desktop computers, mobile devices and the internet and actively enforcing it? The source of problems is usually not the technology, it’s human behavior. Especially with BYOD (bring your own device) gaining popularity these days, the problem will start even before you boot up a single device. For instance, if there is just one negligent individual connecting to your network, the security as a whole will be weakened. Although you and your team love your smartphones, there must be strict rules about BYOD. Being lenient about security policies will only lead to your data being stolen. Might as well sell the company secrets yourself on eBay!

Don’t let one data leak stop you from running your business – here’s what you can do next…

You can find out the source of the problems with our 27-Point IT Systems Security And Performance Assessment. By letting us do this for you, our top data security specialist will do a complete analysis of your network from top to bottom. After the analysis is done, you’ll be given an IT Optimization Plan. Normally, this is a $597 service. It’s yours FREE when you call through the end of September.

Don’t let a disaster harm your business. Call (913) 239-0368 to schedule your FREE IT Systems Security And Performance Assessment TODAY.

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