No question, Target has had a rough few months. The news first broke back in December 2013 that hackers had broken into Target’s massive database of information, which contained the credit and debit card numbers of 110 million customers, among other personal data.
More than two months later, Target is still feeling the pain from the Holiday Hack. The store reported that their bottom line was halved during the critical Christmas shopping season and the cost of the breach to date has been $61 million.
It was later determined that the source of the breach originated from a malware-laced email that appeared to come from a trusted source. The email message containing the concealed “spear phishing” attack was opened by an employee with access to Target’s network—and the rest is history.
Although Target’s massive security hack has received the most media coverage, unfortunately plenty of other companies and small business fall prey to hackers and malware all the time, putting sensitive financial and personal customer information in jeopardy.
If you want to make sure what happened to Target doesn’t happen to your business, visit our Knowledge Center to learn about the 6 Ways You Should be Protecting Your Customer Data From Hackers, such as:
- Taking Inventory. To determine what type of security policy you need to have in place, meet with key members of your team and discuss exactly what type of data you collect and store, as well as what security you currently have in place to protect this information.
- Using Strong Passwords. Weak passwords like these are a hacker’s dream, and consequently there’s little you can do to protect against a breach.
- Restricting Computer Access. Set up your programs and systems so that each employee only gets access to certain data based on what their job requires.
- Blocking Potential Intruders. All company devices should have updated anti-virus and spyware protection. Any employee who tries to access data from a mobile device should have firewall software, as well. Full scans for viruses and spam should be run at least one a week.
- Managing Your Data. This may seem obvious, but make sure you store backup data in a secure location that is independent from your main operating system. Also, delete any unnecessary data that you don’t need.
- Being Cautious When Sharing. Never transmit sensitive data via email unless it is encrypted. For other web data sharing, use secure connections such as SSL technology.
When just one bad email can result in millions of dollars in losses and lawsuits, it’s obvious that companies simply cannot afford to skimp on network security these days. To find out how secure your central database and IT environment is, talk to the experts at Innovative Architects today.