Data Security

Now more than ever, data security is an important part of businesses. While most companies focus their attention on cyber security, there is also another type of security that businesses shouldn’t forget about; that is, data destruction. While you can engage in different types of cyber security such as firewalls and encryption of data, when you have old hard drives with sensitive data stored on it, you can’t forget to protect this data as well. This is where data destruction comes into play. We love data destruction and here’s why you should too.

When your data is destroyed, your data is unrecoverable. This is because when you have sensitive data stored on hard drives or other physical devices, the data can still be recovered even if the files are deleted. While there are other ways to remove data such as wiping the hard drive through overwriting the data, the only way to be sure that the data cannot be retrieved is by physically destroying the hard drive or device that the data is stored on. When you do this, you can be sure that none of your data will be stolen.

Another reason to love data destruction is that it can save you from large fines in the future. If your data is compromised, your business can be slammed with thousands of dollars of fines. These fines can occur if your data is not properly and securely gotten rid of. Customers and employees may also pursue lawsuits against the company, which will only add more fines that your company will have to deal with. When the data is destroyed that means that you will be freeing up space at the office. Storing clunky old hard drives or computers can take up valuable space. When the data is destroyed, you can use that space for more useful reasons. These are just some of the reasons why you should consider using data destruction for your business.

data security
Make sure you are completely safe!

Tips to Protect your Organization from a Data Breach!

One of the most important things that you can do for your business or organization is to protect it from data breaches. Cyber security threats includes any unauthorized access to information or unauthorized sharing or changing of information. Organizations have a large amount of personal information stored on databases so protecting this information is extremely important. Here are ways for businesses to protect private data and avoid breaches.

The first thing you should do is create a data loss protection plan. When this is implemented, everyone will be on the same page regarding data security. Make sure employees are educated on how to handle sensitive information. Consider creating a protocol that employees must follow when working with sensitive information. Where are employees when accessing this information? Are they at work or at home? Is the data scattered over a wide range of devices or is it localized? Who has access to what information? Is there a clear way to document who is accessing what information and for how long? Consider creating secure networks where employees can only gain access at certain places. Another way to protect information is to store all data in encrypted databases.

If you are worried about the amount of sensitive information employees may have access to, it may be a good idea to go through all information and remove unnecessary sensitive data. Is it required that all information be accessible? If not, remove what is unnecessary so that only vital information remains. It is also a good idea to limit the amount of employees that have access to all sensitive information. Finally, ensure that strong passwords are being used. Strong passwords should have 15 or more characters, consist of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols in a random sequence. Following these tips can help ensure the safety of your organization from a data breach.

WC Computer Recycler
Take the proper steps to better protect your company's sensitive information.
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El Monte, CA
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Phone: 888-806-0525
Fax: 626-444-2434

What the Ashley Madison Breach means for Cyber Security

Earlier this month, yet another online business has been targeted by hackers. Who was the victim this time: the customers of Ashley Madison, an online dating website for married people looking for affairs. A group of hackers that call themselves the Impact Team claim to have stolen the information from the entire database that Ashley Madison uses – this includes the personal information of all the customers, which totals 33 million members in 46 countries. Meanwhile, official Ashley Madison representatives claimed that the media was simply exaggerating and that the hackers were unable to completely infiltrate their system. The Impact Team said that they have released over 2,500 customer records and demand that Ashley Madison take down the site or else they will release the rest of the data they have stolen.

While some have suggested that there is nothing to worry about since the information that customers of Ashley Madison uses is usually fake, there is still a small source of anxiety for customers who have used the the “paid delete” option on the site. The “paid delete” option is when a user wants to completely delete their account from the system. In order to do this, customers must pay $19 – usually with a credit card. This credit card information is stored in the system as well as other personal information such as legal names and addresses. It is this valuable information that the hackers called the Impact Team are threatening to release.

From this recent attack on Ashley Madison to the number of businesses that have been hacked within the year, it is becoming more and more apparent that cybersecurity is a must. Not only is it important, it is paramount, and should be one of the things that businesses put at the top of their to do list. Cyber security involves all information technology security services that protects not only computers, but also networks, programs and data from unauthorized access, destruction, or change of data. With the amount of cyber attacks that have happened as well as the recent attack on the U.S. Government’s Office of Personnel Management that happened earlier this year, it is clear that the federal government must figure out ways to improve cybersecurity to better protect businesses and customers alike.

WC Computer Recycler
In order to prevent data breaches like AshleyMadison.com and protect sensitive data, businesses should make cybersecurity a priority.
9856 Baldwin Place
El Monte, CA
91731
Phone: 888-806-0525
Fax: 626-444-2434

The Federal Government Enhanced their Cyber Security Network

It has recently been disclosed that the Office of Personnel Management was breached and an incredible amount of sensitive information such as financial and medical information of personnel as well as 1.1 million fingerprint records were taken. While there have been a large amount of security breaches occurring within the business realm, this is the first large scale breach on the federal government. In the wake of this event, the government has made advancements in Federal cyber security.

Back in June of this year, a “30-Day Cybersecurity Sprint” was enacted for a number of Federal agencies. The purpose was to figure out any areas of vulnerability and recently, the results were collected. This new information will help the government and the Department of Homeland Security to figure out the next steps to create a better system of cybersecurity. The agencies first used techniques, tactics, and procedures provided by the Department of Homeland Security to scan their systems for any immediate signs of cyber attacks or malicious cyber activity. Each week, the agencies will receive a DHS Vulnerability Scan Report where vulnerabilities will be identified in order for these problem areas to be corrected.

A next step would be to crackdown on security policies and practices for users that have access to sensitive information. This includes minimizing the number of users with privileged access in the first place as well as limiting the amount of functions that can be performed when using the account. Other things to consider would be to limit the duration that each privileged user can be logged into the system, making sure that all activities are logged and reviewed, and finally, to limit the amount of functions that can be performed while logged on from a remote access point. These are just some of the things that the Department of Homeland Security is doing to ensure cybersecurity within the government.

WC Computer Recycler
After a large breach, the Federal Government has begun new practices in cyber security.
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El Monte, CA
91731
Phone: 888-806-0525
Fax: 626-444-2434

Do You Know What The Future of Cyber Security Holds

As technology and the amount of information we share through the Internet increases, so too must our technology to protect valuable information increase. As of now, cyber security includes anything that helps protect the digital equipment that we use. Essentially, cyber security helps to prevent unauthorized access to information so that the information is not changed, destroyed, or stolen. With the growing use of the cloud and mobile devices, there will be many advancements in cyber security in the future.

As the Internet of Things quickly advances upon us, more and more items are being connected through the Internet  – connected cars, homes, cameras, watches, and much more. In fact, it is expected that within five years, consumers will be using over 40.9 billion connected devices, a huge increase from the 8.7 billion connected devices that were being used in 2012. With so many items being connected, there are increasing amounts of ways for there to be a soft spot in your security, which means more potential access points for hackers.

While a response may be to turn away from the growing technology, what is actually needed is a symbiotic relationship between humans and computers. With high functioning technology, humans can create a system that can detect, prioritize, and then efficiently act against the thousands of threats that consumers and enterprises face. Sometimes, a system can detect threats but if there is no standard way to prioritize the threats, then there is no action done – and if there is, sometimes it can be too late. We cannot do it alone. Humans do not have the capacity to sift through the millions of threats that take place over the Internet everyday. With the help of newer technologies however, we can work together in creating a safer space for our valuable information that is shared over the cloud and the rest of the Internet.

WC Computer Recycler
Cyber security practices are constantly changing to keep your private information safe.
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El Monte, CA
91731
Phone: 888-806-0525
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Guidelines for Creating a Secure Password

With the amount of personal information that we provide over the Internet, it is extremely important that we have secure passwords in order to protect this valuable information. Without a strong password, it is much easier for a hacker to figure out your password. This may lead to identity theft, which will result in the loss of security and money. It is also advised that you use different passwords for different sites. Here are some guidelines for creating a secure password that will be more resilient to attacks.

The first thing is to avoid using a common password. For example, if the word you use for your password can be found in the dictionary, then it is not a strong password. Avoid using the names of your kids, your pet, friends or relatives. Also avoid the name of your favorite team, your anniversary, birthday or any other typical dates. Even if you include a number or character after these names or dates, it still is not a strong password. In fact, there are programs that hackers use that specifically check these kinds of passwords. So be sure to avoid these common mistakes.

Instead, what you are looking for in a strong password is one that is long, contains a mix of upper and lower case letters, has symbols, and includes numbers. In addition, there cannot be any ties to personal information and dictionary words should be avoided. Instead, try using a phrase or sentence that you will remember. For example, a sentence you might remember could be something like “The first apartment I lived at was 768 Fake Street. Rent was $500 per month.” Now, simply convert this sentence into a password by using the first letters or digits of every word. The above sentence then becomes, “TfaIlaw768FS.Rw$5pm.” This is a strong password as it is 20 characters long, consists of characters, numbers, and upper and lower case letters. It will also be easy for you to remember because you have attached a phrase to it!

Be sure to keep these tips in mind the next time you have to create a strong password.

WC Computer Recycler
Creating a highly encrypted password will reduce your chances of falling victim to cyber crime.
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The Importance of Data Security

With the amount of personal information that businesses collect through client information, personal files, payment information, bank account details etc., data security is extremely important. If this personal information is leaked, it cannot only cause damage to the clients but it will also sully your company’s reputation. The good news is that your company can keep this information safe from hackers or malware infections. Here are some reasons that data security is important.

With proper data security, you will be able to prevent data breaches. You can avoid disclosure of client information; not only is this important to your clients but it also will save your company money as data breaches are costly incidents to repair. Not only will data security help to prevent breaches, it will also ensure the integrity of your data. This means that outside sources will be unable to make any unauthorized changes to the data including data structures, logs, and configuration files. With data integrity, you will be able to have complete visibility over the trends and patterns of your data, which help keep information secure. Data security and privacy go hand in hand. Data security can prevent the disclosure of sensitive information by make the information unidentifiable with the client. Data security will mask this data found in applications, databases, and reports.

Data security will also protect from physical threats such as power outages, fires, malicious data, or theft. Be sure to have a plan of attack when it comes to each of these things. Other things that should be considered to maintain data security are who is allowed access to information, who has access to email systems and the internet in your company, and who is restricted from information. Are passwords used and how will they be maintained? The type of firewalls and anti-malware you use are also important. These are just a few reasons that data security is important for your company.

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When recycling old electronics, take them somewhere that practices certified and secure data destruction services.
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Views on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act

With our growing dependency on technology and with the amount of personal information that is shared over the Internet, it is no wonder that protecting this information from cyber threats and hacking has become one of the government’s utmost priorities. In a recent attempt to be more capable of meeting cyber attacks head on, the government approved the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) earlier this year. This act would allow for private companies to share cyberthreat data with the US government. The idea behind the act being that if the government can have more information on how companies are being hacked, they will be able to better safeguard against future attacks. However, a growing number of security experts have expressed their concerns about the act passed to protect cyber information; many saying that the act will be more likely to infringe on the privacy of citizens than on protecting them from hacking incidents.

The data that would be shared with the government would consist of sensitive information that would consist of personally identifiable information. This information would be shared with offices such as the Department of Justice, the Director of National Intelligence, and Department of Homeland Security. Those against the bill point out that this information could end up as yet another way for the NSA to have surveillance on citizens. Instead of using the information to created better security systems, it would instead be used for a variety of reasons such as identifying terrorists, prosecuting normal criminal offenses etc. Since the act allows the government to retain, disclose, and use any of the data they receive from the CISA, opponents argue that the information could create dangerous incentives for government officials to use the information for criminal investigations under false premises. In addition, many wonder if the government will be able to efficiently keep track of all the information they receive as the offices of government are not as effective as sharing information among themselves. If the CISA is to help protect against cyber attacks as it was initially intended to do, than the government must first come up with a more efficient way to share the information that they receive.

WC Computer Recycler
New legislation has passed to protect your important cyber information; and some don't like it.
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El Monte, CA
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Phone: 888-806-0525
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The U.S. Government has Passed the Protecting Cyber Networks Act!

It’s no surprise that cybersecurity is a hot topic in today’s world. There are constant reports of large companies’ private systems being hacked into, resulting in many individuals’ personal information being stolen. This can be worrisome to hear, because one would think that these large companies spend a ton of money trying to keep their systems secure to prevent this from happening.

In response to all of the latest hacking incidents, the House of Representatives has recently passed a new bill titled the Protecting Cyber Networks Act. Essentially, this bill will allow corporations to share your data with other corporations and with the federal government. The government is hoping that by allowing federal investigators this access, they will be able to prevent future attacks and catch the initial culprits. There has been some backlash by the public regarding this bill for a few reasons. First, it involves the sharing of personal data with both other corporations and the government. Second, many believe that the bill is written vaguely and that it grants the government access to use the data they find in their investigation outside the scope of the cyber attack. The House and Senate still need to come together for final legislation of the bill.

It can truly be devastating to have your identity stolen. If your personal information gets into the wrong hands, not only can your credit potentially be ruined, but it can also take months and even years to get everything all sorted out. This can delay plans you have to buy a house, buy a car, or even take out a loan. One step you can take to protect your identity is to monitor your credit every so often. If you hear of a major security breach, such as the recent one with Target, you may want to check your credit an additional time to make sure you were not a victim. A second step you can take, that most people don’t often think of, is taking the time to make sure you properly destroy electronics that contain personal and sensitive data, such as computers. By taking these two steps, you are protecting yourself and will hopefully catch any type of identity theft early on.

WC Computer Recycler
These are the ways the government is helping you protect your private information.
9856 Baldwin Place
El Monte, CA
91731
Phone: 888-806-0525
Fax: 626-444-2434

What the Sony Hack Can Teach Us about Cyber Security

You’ve probably heard the news – a mysterious hacker group calling itself Guardians of Peace hacked into Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer systems earlier this month. While some of the information they leaked was minor – personal email conversations – other information was quite serious such as the personal information of their employees from salaries to social security numbers. In this day and age, it may be hard to believe that a company such as Sony could be hacked, but the reality is that any company can potentially be hacked. Secure data protection in Los Angeles is just as important as it is smaller cities. Regardless of size, there are still things that you can do to help protect yourself and your company.

Data

First it’s important to recognize that hackers can be understood along two axes: focus and skill. An attack against Sony Pictures for example was high focused and high skilled since it was geared directly towards Sony. In these cases, when there is a direct target, the hacker will almost always get in. More often than not though, companies are hacked by low focus but high skilled hackers. This means that the hackers don’t particularly care who they hack, just as long as they hack somebody. Recently, this is what happened to Target and Home Depot. The hackers simply wanted credit card information; they were not trying to harm those companies specifically. In this case, there are some things that you can do to protect yourself. For example, if Home Depot had been better protected, the hackers would have simply moved on to another, easier hit. When it comes to security, you need three things: protection, detection, and response. Surprisingly, Sony was not heavily protected nor did it have a good detection plan. Work with your IT to figure out the best security for your company. If you go the extra mile, you could potentially help save valuable information from being leaked.