Best Practice Data Security Methods

Data security is an important part of any business. Keeping sensitive information not only protects your employees, but also protects your clients as well. Keeping this data secure helps to add customer loyalty, which will only help your business moving forward. There are many different ways to keep your data secure. Here are some best practices when it comes to data security methods.

One of the best ways of keeping data secure is by limiting access to sensitive information. Access to sensitive data should be acquired by a need to know basis only. Employees with access to this information should have specific passwords in order to access this information as well. In addition, access to the information can be timed and logged so that you know which employee is accessing information and for how long. Of course, another must for businesses when it comes to securing data is to have the proper cyber products in place. Anti-virus and malware protection can be costly, but it should be seen as an investment against potential future hacking incidents, which can cost even more money down the line.

Another type of data security that is not talked about as often is the destruction of data. Oftentimes, data is forgotten about when it’s stored on old hard drives or memory sticks. Even when the data is deleted from these devices, the data is still stored and can be recovered. In order to protect against this information being recovered, data destruction is the best way to keep this information secure. The safest way to ensure this data from being accessed is through the physical destruction of data. For this to happen, companies will take old hard drives, for example, and physically destroy them, rendering all information on them unreadable. Data destruction is an important part of data security that all businesses should keep in mind.

15 Best Blogs To Follow About Data Security Trends

Many businesses are becoming more and more aware of the importance of data security. However, it can be difficult stay on top of all the latest trends and updates regarding data security. As a result, it can be helpful to follow cyber security blogs to help keep you in the loop. Here are 15 of the best blogs to follow about data security trends in no particular order, so that you don’t have to filter through some of the worst advice about data security.

  1. Brian Krebs is one of the most well known names in the security landscape. His blog is entitled Krebs on Security and he convers topics such as the latest threats, cyber criminals, privacy breaches and more.
  2. Network Security Blog is run by the Senior Security Advocate at Akamai, Martin McKeay. Running since 2003, the blog has posted upwards of 1000 posts about various aspects of cyber security.
  3. Naked Security is one of the biggest blogs around with 1.5 million view per month. There are a number of blog writers who post to the blog offering a variety of views and opinion about data security.
  4. ShackF00 is run by Dave Shackleford, the founder of Voodoo Security. This blog covers topics such as intrusion detection, vulnerability assessments, and malware to name a few.
  5. IT Security Expert Blog is a blog to follow in order to learn more about Identity theft, regulatory compliance, DDoS, Hacking, Data protection and malware.
  6. ImperialViolet is a blog run by Adam Langley who works for Google as a senior software engineer. His blog covers a variety of topics regarding cyber security and software
  7. Securosis Blog is a blog that offers topics such as application security, data security, emerging technologies and security management.
  8. Bruce Schneier is recognized around the world for a being a security guru. His blog,  Schneier on Security, has been around since 2004.
  9. Graham Cluley is another independent security analyst that is extremely well known. He has been in the security industry since the early 1990s and has held senior roles at McAfee and Sophos. His blog is entitled Graham Cluley.
  10. Dark Reading is a widely-read blog about cyber security. The blog reaches out to a variety of professionals from areas such as security research, technology specialists, and workers in the IT environment
  11. CSO online is a blog that specifically focuses on access management for enterprise servers, technology, loss prevention, software vulnerabilities and cybercriminal threats
  12. Forbes’ blog about cyber-security news is reliable and offers some of the latest information regarding security threats
  13. SC Magazine offers information about email security, mobile devices, web security and the latest information on the cloud
  14. The Hacker News has over 5 million monthly readers and is one of the biggest resources for technology, security and hacking
  15. Zero Day a blog dedicated to IT security, security analysis, malware attacks, software vulnerabilities and network threats

The Top Laptop Security Trends Of This Year

In recent years, more and more people have been ditching their desktop computers and switching them for a laptop. Often cheaper and much more portable, laptops are quickly becoming the technology of choice for many business goers. However, this means that laptops have to be carefully considered when thinking about data security. In order to keep your laptop safe, here are some of the top laptop security trends of the year.

Companies such as Purism, have been offering a “kill switch” to users. With a kill switch, users simply have to flip a switch and your camera and microphone are completely switched off, making it impenetrable to hackers in the cyber verse. It has become common knowledge that even when your microphone or web camera are turned off, they can still sometimes be hacked into. With a kill switch, users can feel secure once again. There is also a kill switch offered for wireless and bluetooth, which turns off inbound and outbound radio signals. If the “kill switch” catches on, perhaps more companies will be offering this feature in forthcoming products.

Another new safety feature comes from laptop makers such as Dell and Lenovo. These companies are releasing models that support Microsoft Hello. Microsoft Hello is a security system using infrared technology. A camera scans your face, which then grants you access to using the laptop. This feature eliminates the need for passwords as the infrared camera traces the unique features of a user’s face. This technology, therefore, is extremely secure. In fact, earlier in the year, the Pentagon even ordered this technology to be used on over 4 million PCs owned by the military. This infrared camera technology is already built into the Windows 10, which makes it easy to use. It will be interesting to see whether or not Apple products follows this laptop security trend in the future.

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Laptop Security Trend
With a kill switch, users simply have to flip a switch and your camera and microphone are completely switched off, making it impenetrable to hackers in the cyber verse. It has become common knowledge that even when your microphone or web camera are turned off, they can still sometimes be hacked into.
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How To Prevent Major Data Breaches

It is hard to go very long in the world of business without hearing some reference to data security. However, while everyone can agree that it is important, it is often that businesses do not take enough precautions as they should. It is easy to think that a data breach could never happen to one’s own company but unfortunately, this is not the case. Within the last year, there have been major security breaches at various businesses across the nation. For all of these breaches, the attacks could have been prevented if stronger security measures had been used.

It does not matter what kind of business you are in, any type of company can fall victim to hackers. For example, there were a string of security breaches that occurred to the world of healthcare providers with companies such as Anthem Inc. and UCLA Health Systems being attacked in relative quick succession. With Anthem Inc. their security measures were not up to date and in the case of UCLA Health Systems, their patient data was not even encrypted at all. If tighter security measures had been in place, it is possible that these breaches could have been prevented. As a result of companies not cracking down on security measures, personal information such as social security numbers, dates of births, names, as well as sensitive medical information were found. Other companies such as Verizon, Home Depot, and Target all had their systems hacked. Collectively, over 7 million individuals had personal information breached from trusted agencies. While all this is unfortunate, there are things you can do to prevent situations like this from happening in the future.

Getting the most up-to-date security systems installed is extremely important in order to prevent data breaches. Hackers are coming up with new bugs just as quickly as security companies are fixing them. As a result, it is of the utmost importance that you have your systems updated frequently. Customizing your security approach is another great option as you can have your company protected in a way that is right for you.

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Preventing Data Breaches
Getting the most up-to-date security systems installed and Customizing your security approach are a couple of the things you must do to prevent major Data Breaches!
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Tips On Disposing Of Old Computers

At the rate that technology is now evolving, most computers aren’t even built to last for more than a few years. This means that many people are going through computers at a faster and faster rate. So what does this mean for you? You might be wondering what to do with old computers.  It is important that you go through a few steps when switching over to a new computer.

After you have imported all of your old data onto the new computer you need to get rid of the information from the old one. However, simply deleting files or putting them into the recycle bin is not enough. These files are still stored on the computer’s hard drive. In order to have your computer completely wiped of all of your old information, you need to format the hard drive. It is important to note however, that once the hard drive is formatted, you cannot retrieve any of your information anymore. Therefore, be sure that you have transferred over all of the information that you will need before doing this. There are different ways that your hard drive can be formatted. Some programs simply erase the entire disk while others end up overwriting the hard drive multiple times until the data is untraceable. Another option is to physically destroy the hard drive. However, if you choose this option, it is a good idea to go to a professional company because many parts of an old hard drive can be recycled. Also, even if you smash the hard drive yourself into small pieces, it is possible that information can still be gathered from small pieces.

Another option is to trade in your old computer or to donate. There are many charities or nonprofits for example that will accept old computers and will donate them to people who need them. If you would like to trade in your computer, there are multiple companies that will give you a discount if your computer is still in relatively good condition. So, if you are wondering what to do with old computers, call West Coast Computer Recycler for a QUOTE today!

Disposing Of Old Computers
It is important that you go through a few steps when switching over to a new computer. Importing all your data onto your new computer, Formatting your old hard drive and wiping it out than donating it to a non profit or recycling it is often times the best route.
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Proper Data Destruction & Why It’s Crucial To Your Business!

If you have a business, you are probably aware that data security is extremely important in keeping your business, your employees, and your partners safe. However, did you know that data destruction is also a part of data security as well? In fact, proper data destruction is a critical part to any business. One of the best practices your business can do is to create a policy or destruction plan so that when the time is right, you and your company will know what to do. Do you wonder why secure hard drive data destruction is so crucial to your business?

Your data destruction plan should include where valuable information will be stored before it is destroyed as well as a timeline for the destruction of the data. It is often a good idea to partner with a certified company that deals in data destruction for businesses. This also includes the destruction of hard drives. It is important to note that even after all files have been deleted from a hard drive, the information can still be gleaned from it. The best way to ensure that your data is safe is to have old hard drives destroyed.

As stated, the protection of data is key. Not only are you protecting your business, you also have to protect the sensitive information of your customers as well. While many businesses are efficient in using firewalls and antivirus software to protect live data, many companies forget that information is stored on old electronics as well. In the past, there have been some incidents where recycling centers have actually taken information from the computers that people have dropped off. In order to avoid this, make sure that the company your business uses to recycle e-waste is certified from a company such as NAID – the National Association for Information Destruction. Destruction companies will also often make their services available for other office equipment including microfilm, audio and videotapes, bank cards, microfilm and more.  This can be achieved by hiring a professional. Call West Coast Computer Recycler for a quote today!

Data Destruction & Why it's Important
Data Destruction should remain a top priority in your business. Create a policy or destruction plan today!
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Cyber Crime Trends of 2015

As businesses move more towards doing business online, the amount of sensitive information that is being shared online increases. With this information stored and accessed via the web, there is more and more opportunities for cyber attacks to occur. With most of the year behind us, here is a look at some of the cyber crime trends.

As more and more business is done through the cloud, there has been more attacks aimed at the cloud than ever before. What professionals have found is that the trend of putting commercial and personal data onto the cloud for safekeeping has grown at a faster rate than security for the cloud has been able to be created. As a result, there has been a widening security gap in the cloud and more and more cyber attackers have taken advantage of this gap. The Internet of Things has also been a growing problem, but not for the reason you may think. Something as innocent as your refrigerator, car, or electronic picture frame can be the weak link for cyber attackers to gain access to your personal information. With more and more items being connected through the Internet of Things, there are more items that need to be secured. Since these items that are being connected are relatively new, the cybersecurity community still needs time to work on creating new security to protect against malware threats.

While targeted attacks against specific corporations have been popular, attackers may soon come to find that some of the tasks they underwent to perform targeted attacks can become automated. This means that attackers can now create wide nets and spread it through the web, waiting to see who will fall prey. As a result, while targeted attacks may still remain popular, we may find that smaller, personal attacks may begin to affect customers as well. The trend of targeting online payment systems has also grown. Researchers believe that the use of poor passwords is a large factor regarding these attacks. These are just a few of the trends that have occurred just this year. Maintaining proper security systems on your devices can help you not fall victim to cyber attacks.

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Be aware of these current trends in cyber crime and keep your sensitive data safe.
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Data Security Mistakes to Avoid

If you run a business, you are probably aware of the importance of maintaining proper data security. With the amount of personal information that companies have access to, protecting your data from cyber attackers is key. Even if you have a strong security system, there are still data security mistakes that are commonly made. Be sure you do not fall victim to these common data security mistakes in your business.

One common mistake is having lax email policies. More often than not, unencrypted data is sent through emails without a second thought. This information can than be accessed through cell phones or home computers. In order to properly combat this problem, make sure emails send encrypted data and limit the ways to access the sensitive information. In addition, employees often access their personal emails through the company’s server. Their home email account is often less secure and therefore more easily hacked than the work email.

Another common mistake is failing to insure valuable data. When a data breach occurs, it can often be devastatingly expensive. For example, the Ponemon Institute reported that the average cost of a data breach has increased by 15% in 2013 reach an average of $3.5 million. A small business is even more at risk as high costs such as these often lead to the company going out of business. Therefore, it is important to insure all of the valuable and critical data.

While most are aware of the importance of strong passwords and the use of usernames, some businesses fail to properly manage these security measures. It is important that employees must create new passwords often to maintain security. Also, if employees can gain access to multiple vital systems with the same password, all it takes is for one person to get their hands on the password and suddenly they have access to a plethora of information. Finally, transparency at the first sign of a data breach is vital. It may seem a good idea to not disclose a data breach to customers but failing to do so makes it extremely difficult to rebuild the trust of customers and win them back.

Make sure that your business has the proper data security it needs to prevent any problems.

WC Computer Recycler
Keep your business' private data safe by avoiding these common mistakes.
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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.

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In order to prevent data breaches like AshleyMadison.com and protect sensitive data, businesses should make cybersecurity a priority.
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Why Cyber Security is Important

Today, businesses rely more and more on computers and the Internet in general.Valuable information is stored and transferred through the web at a faster rate. While this technology provides ease and convenience, if not handled properly, it can lead to serious security threats. Data can be compromised and computers can receive viruses among other things. In order to prevent this from happening, and secure your network, cyber security is key.

Cyber security is also often referred to as information technology security. Cyber security will consist of many things, particularly the protection of computers, programs, data, and networks from unauthorized or unintended access, change or destruction to information. Cyber security is important because of the sensitive information that is gathered and stored by businesses. For example, identifying information of workers such as social security numbers could be exposed if a business did not have proper cyber security. Recently, there have been a number of businesses that have been hacked or have been the victim of cyber attacks. Just within the past year huge companies such as Home Depot, Anthem, Target, Ebay, and JP Morgan Chase have fallen victim to hackers. In the case of Home Depot and Target, credit card information from customers was stolen. In order to avoid these hacks, cyber security is key.

One thing to consider in making your company’s network secure is to have an independent external scan and vulnerability assessment done. This way, you will be able to see all the areas that may need to have more protection. In addition, become aware of all the best practices that you should do in order to have the safest configurations of mobile devices, laptops, workstations and any other place that work is done. While we cannot ignore that hackers and security threats are a real issue, it can be easy to protect information through proper cyber security.

WC Computer Recycler
Keep yourself and your business protected by practicing strong cyber security methods.
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Fax: 626-444-2434