In February, Attorney General Kamala Harris released a guide to help the state’s small- to mid-sized businesses protect against and respond to threats of malware, data breaches and other cyber risks. Key recommendations include:
“Normally, we are on the side of the bank or credit union. We are trying to establish that the customer was the biggest factor. Most breaches occur by an attacker finding weaknesses on the customers’ systems.” Tom Schauer, president of TrustCC
1) Planning ahead: Assume you are a target, and develop an incident response plan now.
2) Taking inventory: Review the data your business keeps and shares with third parties, such as backup storage and cloud computing. Eliminate the unnecessary.
3) Encrypting: Use strong encryption technology to protect sensitive data.
4) Being careful: Follow safe online practices. Update firewall and antivirus software regularly. Use strong passwords. Avoid downloading software from unknown sources. Practice safe online banking by only using a secure browser connection.
The whole report, Cybersecurity in the Golden State, can be found online at oag.ca.gov/cybersecurity
In cyberattacks against multimillion-dollar companies, computer criminals break in and steal personal information from millions of customers. Though there will be big losses and maybe a high-profile resignation, the reality is, these retail giants will live to sell another day. But the stories that won’t make the front pages involve the most frequent targets, whose survival isn’t guaranteed: small businesses.
Compared to other industries, banks operate from a unique position, in that they have to focus intently on their own security, but also make sure their clients have the knowledge and tools to protect against computer criminals. Providing that protection usually comes down to a matter of security versus convenience.
Last year, 2.5 million Californians were victims of security breaches that revealed their personal information to unauthorized people, according to the state Attorney General.
More dramatic than the number of people victimized is the conclusion that 1.4 million of those people would have been protected if merchants and businesses had taken the simple step to encrypt the data, inserting a digital key that locks access to information as it is transmitted.
Instead of sitting down to watch White Christmas or another streaming movie or TV show, Netflix online video users huddled around their television on Christmas Eve were greeted with an unfortunate message: the online content was unavailable.