While for many of us it seems obvious to secure the physical grounds of a business, securing business data is a new idea. Taking it one step farther, securing sensitive information through firewalls and antivirus programs is important, but have you considered the importance of secure data destruction as well? Data that you no longer need still may have identifying information and other data that would be troublesome if it got in the wrong hands. Here is some more information about the importance of keeping data safe with secure data destruction.
With technology changing so quickly, many businesses have old computers, monitors and hard drives stockpiled somewhere in storage. When old hard drives are not stored in a secure area, the information that was once on those hard drives can be found and taken. Even if all the files were deleted, they can still be recovered and if this information gets into the wrong hands, it is never a good thing. When deleted data is recovered by hackers, there is often personal information left on old documents. The information can vary from home addresses to credit card information to social security numbers. When you don’t secure your data, not only are you putting your employees at risk, but your clients as well. The only way to completely get rid of old or deleted information from hard drives is to have the data destroyed. When shredding hard drives, there are two options, shredding onsite or offsite.
When shredding onsite, an outside company will come to your business and do all the shredding there. The other option is for the company to simply gather up all your old hard drives, place them in a secure vehicle, and then destroy the data at an off site location. The benefits of an offsite location is that the company will have all the technology they need to properly destroy the data while simultaneously recycling all reusable parts. Contact West Coast Computer Recycler for a Quote today!
Secure Data Destruction
Security of your companies data is crucial to your business. Shredding your documents, having a company come onsite to shred your documents or having and offsite company do it for you are all safe options.
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El Monte, CA
As companies do more and more business online and keep personal information in the cloud, it is essential to take extra precautions regarding cyber security. Gone are the days when all you had to do to protect valuable information was store it in a safe. In today’s fast paced world, businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on using technology. While this is not necessarily a bad thing as technology helps us with many tasks, it simply means that security measures must be taken. Here are some of the best ways on how to protect yourself against cyber attacks.
Many companies do not realize that not only do you have to protect yourself from outside attacks, there needs to be protection from within as well. Oftentimes, employees can cause harm without even realizing it by unknowingly opening up malware from an email. Since you cannot constantly be looking over the shoulder of your employees, there are still a few things you can do to help. For example, if employees use their own mobile devices at work to access sensitive company information, make sure to have them install anti-virus software and to use firewalls, especially if they are accessing this information when outside the confines of the workplace.
Another way to have employees help out with security measures is to have them create strong passwords. Simply using a word followed by a string of numbers, as sometimes people do, is not a strong password. In fact, strong passwords should not contain any words at all, even if you use numbers instead of vowels for example. In addition, be sure to never use the same password for all your different accounts. The strongest passwords will simply be a string of numbers, letters and symbols.
One final best practice for preventing a cyber attack is simply by keeping your computers updated. This practical strategy is also probably the easiest thing you can do to help keep your business safe. Sometimes getting notifications all the time can become annoying. Despite how easy it is to ignore these notifications, ignoring security updates leaves you vulnerable from outside attacks. For professional help on how to secure your company from a cyber attack, call us for a Quote today!
Protecting Yourself Against Cyber Attacks
In the technical world we live in today, protecting yourself from a cyber attack is crucial. Strong passwords, protection from within, anti-virus programs & keeping your computers updated are all ways of keeping yourself & your company safe from cyber attacks.
9856 Baldwin Place
El Monte, CA
So much of what we do is now online. We bank, shop, share information with others and much more while online. While the Internet can be extremely useful, because we do so much on it, there is a lot of valuable information that is used on it, and therefore, information that can potentially be hacked. Knowing how to keep your identity secure online can be very difficult. In 2014, the US director of national intelligence stated that the breach of online systems and theft of valuable information online was the number 1 threat to America’s national safety. In fact, cyber security was put ahead of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.
Recently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (the research agency of the Pentagon) showcased their latest cyber security system, which they are calling Plan X. This new type of cyber security uses a 3-D graphical touch interface that displays attacks on a network in real time. One of the biggest problems that networks, companies, and even governments are facing when it comes to cyber attacks is that more often than not, they don’t even realize that they have been hacked after the fact. By that time, much of the damage has already been done. With Plan X, it will allow the network to react in real time so the moment that they are being hacked, they will know. This will now allow for the system to fight back, which will significantly decrease the chance of the hackers being able to infiltrate the system. Meanwhile, Congress has also passed an act, which will help cyber security as well.
The Federal Information Security Modernization Act allows for federal agencies to be more effective in the development and implementation process of network security measures. The act promotes more enabling of real-time technologies such as Plan X, the sharing of potential cyber security threats and vulnerabilities across federal, state, and local government agencies, and the opportunity to provide recommendations on security measures to federal and non-federal entities. These are just some of the ways the US government is working towards more cyber security.
Earlier this month, researchers at the Kaspersky Lab in Russia discovered an incredibly sophisticated cyber espionage operation. This operation has been dubbed the “Equation Group” and has been using malware tools and spyware to infect a number of computers. The Equation Group seems to have a very specific end in mind though as they have mostly attacked the computers of government institutions, research groups, telecommunications companies, and other organizations such as nuclear research groups, and military groups in more than 30 countries with at least 500 victims that have been noted. Some of the countries that have been attacked include Russia, India, Afghanistan, and China. While the Equation Group seems to have no quarrel with everyday citizens, this is still something that everyone should be concerned about.
As security expert Bruce Schneier says, “technology democratizes.” This means that while the extremely sophisticated malware is, for now, being used to attack governments, the same technology can trickle down so that other hackers without such lofty plans can possess this knowledge. What makes this technology so dangerous is that it is nearly impossible to detect and even more difficult to completely destroy. Even wiping the hard drive and overwriting the system does not completely destroy the malware. The technology uses at least six malware platforms, which means only the highest skilled cyber security expert can detect it. Researchers at the Kaspersky Lab reported that it took them two weeks to even crack just one cryptographic element and they were trying more than 300 billion guesses per second. In the end, the best way to get rid of the malware at this point in time is to physically destroy the hard drive. While this is not ideal, it is so far the only proven way to completely destroy the malware. If there is a good side to this, it is that the leak is now out in the open and it is now up to antivirus companies to figure out how to keep your data secure.
Do you recall the recent hacking attack that occurred to Sony a few months back? The ordeal brought to light the need for a strong security system against hackers. As a result, the Obama administration has just recently announced that there will be a new security agency initiated due to the number of high-profile cyber attacks that have occurred to various companies in the U.S. This new program will be called the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center or the CTIIC, which will be modeled on the National Counter-terrorism Center that is located at the Wilson Center in Washington.
While there are already agencies in the U.S. Government that work to combat hackers such as the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, the NSA, and the FBI, there are no agencies that currently coordinates and shares threats. The CTIIC has been created in the hopes to fill these current gaps in security. President Obama recently said in his State of the Union address, “we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber-attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information”. The seriousness of the threat of cyber attacks is clear just from the number of major attacks that have been made against companies such as Sony Pictures, Home Depot, Anthem Inc., Target, and more. In the case of the hackers that targeted Anthem Inc., the hackers were able to access the personal information of over 80 million customers. In addition, according to the company, the hackers were able to remain in the system for more than a month before a problem was even detected. This is unfortunate news, especially since Anthem Inc. is the second largest U.S. health insurer and such a large company with resources should be able to protect its information and the information of customers from cyber attacks. Another thing that will set apart the CTIIC from other current agencies is that fact that the CTIIC will rely more on private companies for their information as opposed to only what the other intelligence agencies can come up with. The hope is these data security best practices can help to combat cyber-attacks from multiple angles will help.