Security Is Sexy
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Security always has been considered anything but sexy. Money rarely flows to security projects since most executives pay little mind to security. Instead, sales and marketing receive the majority of the investment.
Security, however, is demanding our attention now, and there are plenty of reasons you should be paying attention to it.
Security is in the news all the time
Breaches at numerous retailers, even the most secure firms with dedicated security staff, call our attention to risks. John Oliver did a great piece on password security and pointed out the issues with lame passwords. Yahoo! is now talking about eliminating passwords completely.
Hackers are targeting everyone—people, small businesses and large businesses
The attacks aren’t just on Home Depot, Target, etc. The attacks are on John, Sally, Dale, Gene, Dave and each of us. They are also on our businesses. Your website takes credit cards? Great. You are a target. You store customer data somewhere in the cloud? It’s a target.
How can you protect yourself and your business?
- Always use unique passwords of longer length (the longer the password, the harder to crack). Use passphrase, like “IamAll4Security!” with or without spaces. Consider a password manager like Lastpass to generate and store passwords securely.
- Be careful clicking any links or opening attachments.
- Use a good anti-virus/anti-malware security application (not as critical for Mac users). I use Webfoot but my help-desk team prefers Bitdefender.
- Ensure you backup your files to an online provider (as well as locally) like Crashplan or Carbonite.
For businesses, same rules as above, and:
- Follow Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance recommendations to improve your network security.
- Never send or receive credit card numbers via email.
- Never store credit card information. Try tokenizing instead.
- Use more cloud service providers that have tokenized and follow PCI compliance rules. Have your service providers sign an agreement they are PCI compliant.
There are many other things you can do to improve your security. The above advice is a practical way to get started.
Geiger CIO Dale Denham, MAS+, was named as a Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader for 2015 and provides practical insights on how you can benefit from technology in no nonsense terms. Follow him on Twitter @GeigerCIO.
E Dale Denham Author's page Dale is a business leader who is best known for providing business-focused I.T. leadership. He believes technology is not limited to increasing efficiency, but is essential to driving revenue. Dale strongly believes having great people is the critical ingredient to success no matter how great your technology might be.Known to many in the promotional products industry as a leading technologist, Dale is using his mix of business and technology to help drive the industry forward. One of the leaders and founders of the PromoStandards effort, Dale and others are working hard to address industry inefficiencies. Dale also is a board member of PPAI through 2018.Follow Dale on Twitter @daledenham or connect with him on LinkedIn via http://www.linkedin.com/in/daledenham.