“We’re small fish; who’d want to waste their time? We don’t have much of value to a hacker.”

Au contraire. As the online article in CIO points-out, hackers penetrated Target Stores by gaining access through their HVAC vendor. In the eyes of a potential hacker, your customers & clients may represent a far greater value than your business per se, and the smaller the business – in general – the easier the target.

http://www.cio.com/article/2600345/security0/11-steps-attackers-took-to-crack-target.html

Security gaps that small businesses frequently overlook are:

  • Open wireless access points
  • Missing software patches

Mobile devices, and other devices that “live” outside the protective cover of the firewall and anti-virus software. We know that – from previous articles – neither are a complete solution. The missing piece is the software that DETECTS hacking attacks and can direct counter-measures. Target Stores paid $1.6MM and were successful in detecting the hack. However, they were unsuccessful in alerting store management and almost 100 MILLION identities were stolen.

Target Lesson #4: you can have a firewall and anti-virus software and still be a ripe target for hackers because of who you do business with! If you can’t afford the $1.6MM Target paid for hacker and malware detection software (that Target completely ignored) and the IT staff to install and operate it, you might consider talking to a Managed Secure IT Service Provider that CAN afford it, knows HOW to use it … and get covered.

Best wishes,

Stephen Reade

Stephen E. Reade
Business Technology Specialist