There is a general feeling amongst all of us small business owners that the hackers are generally after the large companies with big (read valuable) databases. For the most part that is true but what is also absolutely true is that they are automating the hacking process to easily go after more and smaller databases. Hackers used software purchased online for $2,000 to steal data from Target, Neiman Marcus and others. Hacking software can be downloaded for free from several hacking forums. The commercialization of hacking software lowers the barrier to entry and makes it easier for attacks to take place. We in the Promotional Products industry need to take notice.
Don’t worry but be vigilant. Use strong passwords and use different passwords for different sites. In addition to checking your credit card statements and not opening unfamiliar emails, you should know what your vendors are doing with yours and your customer’s data. You should also know what your vendors are doing to protect your data. Is your data stored in an encrypted database? Is your data stored in a hardened network behind firewalls? Is your data purged regularly? Does your vendor regularly invest in security? Does your vendor have a data breach policy?
No one system is hacker proof but if a breach occurs it will be critical to know that proactive steps have been taken to secure yours and your customer’s data. Be informed.
For more information on this topic and what BrightStores does to protect you, click here.
Dan Halama, President & Founder