“In 2014, 47 percent of American adults had their personal information exposed by hackers.” CNN.com via the Ponemon InstituteThe Internet today provides us with unimaginable advantages compared to the past when it comes to many areas of life. Research, communication, sharing of information, business etc. All of these facets of our world have become streamlined and exponentially faster when we think about how they were accomplished just 20 years ago. But with the advantages came the inevitable dangers of opening up the world of information to all who could access it, and then to basically everyone. The question becomes, is our data and communication as safe as they need to be and should be? With so many high profile cyber-attacks and data breaches in the recent news, every CEO, CIO, president, vice president and so on down the line should be asking the question, is our data safe? Is our customers’ information safe? Network security is the number 1 concern in the world of Information Technology today, and for good reason. For lack of better terminology, in most cases network security in most businesses today is severely lax. Many companies don’t have the resources to properly secure their data network, without training and expertise, protecting a corporate network is a daunting task and left up to less skilled employees that are lacking the training and knowledge that it takes to establish and maintain a secure environment. Physical security and technological security go hand in hand and the physical side is often over looked when securing resources. There are many ways for a corporate network to become compromised, from hackers, to viruses and malware, all the way down to the disgruntled user that was let go from the company and his credentials were never deactivated because of an oversight or no corporate security policy and processes. Companies today have to be on top of the game when it comes to securing information, and when the skilled professionals are not available in house, companies should look to outside sources such as securing their servers and data in a reputable data center, contracting security work to managed firewall and security providers that have the skilled staff to install and maintain the security, and possibly hiring a security auditing company periodically to perform penetration testing services and network health checks. The Internet has created a wonderful medium for learning, communicating and sharing, unfortunately it is that same medium that gives the malicious users the ability to attack, steal, and destroy important data. All companies need to do their due diligence to protect personal information, is your company helping or hurting the cause?
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