Entrepreneurial

Small business defense against cybercrime

Small businesses can innocently expose themselves to cybercrime when an employee opens an email that appears to be from the CEO, not updating the anti-virus program or having a laptop lost or stolen.

Eduard Goodman, Chief Privacy Officer for Identity Theft 911 has seen an increase in small businesses being targeted for cybercrime within the last five to seven years. Highly desirable data include customer information lists and personally identifiable information such as social security numbers, dates of birth and account numbers.

A recent survey by Symantec and the National Cyber Security Alliance shows 85 percent of small business owners believe their company is safe from hackers, viruses, malware or a cyber-security breach. Sixty-nine percent rely on Internet security for their business’s success.

Yet, the same survey shows 77 percent don’t have a formal Internet security policy for employees and 49 percent don’t even have an informal policy.

So how can small businesses protect themselves?

Ensuring your business has the latest anti-virus, spyware and firewall programs is one method of protection, according to Goodman. Training on how to recognize phishing emails is essential as fraudsters will send emails from someone like the CEO of a company so employees think they have to open the email.

How will new identity theft rules affect small business?

- Minara El-Rahman is a contributor to FindLaw’s “Free Enterprise” blog. FindLaw is owned by Thomson Reuters. -

Small business owners have new federal requirements to protect against identity theft in their businesses.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that over 9 million Americans are victims of identity theft annually. As a result, the FTC introduced what is known as the “red flags” rule that was slated to be enforced back in November 2009. The so-called red flags rule requires that certain creditors and organizations with covered accounts implement programs that would identify, detect and address warning signs of possible identity theft in the course of business.

Are your business plans more secure than Twitter’s?

lockIt’s not every day that a privately-owned company’s internal financial laundry is scattered across the Web for all to see.

But that’s the unfortunate scenario microblogging startup Twitter found itself in on Wednesday after technology news site TechCrunch published a slew of the company’s confidential business documents.

The files, sent to the site by a hacker who managed to gain access to some of the company’s servers, included everything from plans to launch a Twitter reality television show to notes from its executive meetings to a detailed financial outlook from February.

  •