Hackers Target Small Firms

by Larry Emmott on August 25, 2011

in Security

I heard about the WSJ article linked here at the Dentrix Tech Summit.

In the time it takes to break into a major company like Citigroup Inc., a hacker could steal data from dozens of small businesses and not get detected

In the past I have written that dentists just needed basic security systems in place as hackers were much more interested in a big target like a bank or a department store chain and that our little small business was not worth the effort. Not so any more.

Hackers have shifted their attentions to small businesses like dental offices. Now as much as 63% of online hacker attacks are against small businesses with 100 or fewer employees.

Protecting yourself still starts with the basics. That is passwords on all critical applications especially those that link the office to the Internet. And that means not just any password but strong passwords. The word “password” or the numbers “12345” do not qualify as strong passwords. B7lz&mNb is a strong password.(Of course you can never remember that :-) )

However the article points out that, as is often the case, the real weak link is the people not the technology.

Passwords are often compromised by hackers calling the office posing as an IT tech or a consultant the doctor has hired and they simply talk the employee into giving them the password. Sometimes malicious programs can be introduced by employees opening e-mails with attachments.

The best way to protect yourself is with a good up to date anti malware program installed and maintained by an IT professional. Then have some team training regarding data safety, malware and good safe surfing practices.

via Hackers New Target: Small Firms With Lax Security – WSJ.com.

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