1 Strike, You're Out: Protect Your Data

6/18/15 1:24 PM Jim Walsh

Cardinals-Baseball-Hacking

By now you’ve likely heard about the St. Louis Cardinals Organization being investigated by the FBI for hacking into the Houston Astros internal database, where they allegedly stole scouting reports, player statistics, potential trade targets and other pertinent information that was only meant to be seen by those within the Astros organization. Considering the other violent crimes going on throughout the world today, this may seem to some like a small white collar crime committed by a couple of fantasy baseball geeks trying to gain a competitive edge. However, people are failing to realize that Major League Baseball is a $36 BILLION dollar business, and by hacking into one of its billion dollar organizations, the consequences could be heavy and could quite possibly result in some serious jail time for the perpetrators. It just proves, that if this can happen to the MLB, it can happen to anyone. If you’re looking to avoid cyber-attacks from hackers, competitors or even former employees, start with these simple tips.

Change Passwords immediately

When it comes to the case in the MLB, it is being speculated that the Cardinals were able to gain access to the Astros network from a list of passwords that were associated with their former employee, Jeff Luhnow, who is currently the Astros General Manager. Now, think of all the people that have been employed at your company over the years who have now gone on to work for a similar company or competitor. Did you remember to change your passwords? Delete them from your network?   Remove their administrative access to any programs? Do they still have access to any cloud applications? Take some time to double check that all access from former employees has been cut off. It may seem simple enough but it often gets thrown on the back burner and forgotten about altogether. Just look what happened in Houston.

Invest in a Data Backup Solution

Our second recommendation is to have a backup solution to protect your data should a hacker make their way into your system. Even if you’re not getting hacked Cloudwards notes that 39% of data disasters and data loss are actually caused by accident. Did you know that after a disaster, 40% of data-dependent businesses without a survival solution never reopen? Yikes. Statistics like this should really raise some eyebrows and encourage you to take a look into your options for data backup. One increasingly popular option to consider is outsourcing your data backup to a managed services provider that offers a robust and comprehensive solution. A strong data backup and disaster recovery program can offer an affordable solution that will ensure local backups, remote or off-premise storage and recovery, and virtual replicas of your business environment accessible via the internet.  The automated testing and verification of your backups ensure that your business is prepared at all times for quick and successful recovery from any type of disaster, security breach, or data loss.

Email Encryption

Another safe bet when it comes to protecting your data from hackers and leaks is to encrypt your email messages. When it comes to our email content, we tend to feel that we are in pretty good control of what goes out. But a report published last year by the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) noted that 31% of security breaches identified were due to lack of internal controls resulting in employees accidental or malicious events. Email encryption is an affordable, flexible way to protect the integrity of your email content, preventing data leaks and unauthorized use of information by encrypting the content of your outbound emails – seamlessly, with no impact to the user experience. With email encryption you can safeguard the transmission of sensitive customer data or proprietary corporate data, as well as prevent accidental data leaks by flagging and blocking communications that contain preset key attributes. Some industries are required to have email encryption to comply with government regulations, but just about any business nowadays is dealing with delicate information. If that’s you, then email encryption is a must.

 

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