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Don’t Be Target: Data Safety Tips

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The massive holiday time data heist that struck Target Corp. and other companies in 2013 likely won’t be the last. Cyber-criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their never-ending quests to steal data, and IT and security experts are hard-pressed to address the constant barrage of new threats. All is not lost, however.  Cisco Systems, a Peak 10 technology partner, offers these guidelines to help keep your company’s data safe:

  1. ALWAYS keep your computer’s security system up to date. In a sample of 30 of the world’s largest Fortune 500 company networks, all were generating visitor traffic to Web sites that host malware.
  2. Keep in mind that malware doesn’t discriminate against different devices. Nor does it only target computers. Ninety-nine percent of all mobile malware targeted Android devices.
  3. Malware doesn’t discriminate against specific industries either.  While pharmaceutical, chemical and electronics manufacturing industries have long been considered high-risk sites for malware, an increasing number of malware encounters are taking place on sites in the agriculture and mining sectors.
  4. Mix up your languages.  Java may be the most common language spoken by computers, but it’s also the programming language most frequently targeted by cyber-criminals.
  5. Keep your passwords safe and backdoors “locked” by checking all email attachments. Multipurpose Trojans are the most frequently encountered web-delivered malware. In 2013, they accounted for 27 percent of total encounters.

In addition, supplement your in-house security with third-party security solutions such as Managed Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (MIDPS) and Managed Unified Threat Management (UTM), which are available from companies like Cisco and Peak 10.  Some of these solutions, like many of those offered by Peak 10, also can help your company meet a number of regulatory requirements and enforce company security policies.

For example, Peak 10’s PCI Complete combines network security technologies, PCI-specific procedures and expert personnel into a single solution to help customers meet many of the requirements for compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Working with third-party vendors and security experts offers another benefit. They want your business ─ and to keep it ─ so they are more likely to be highly knowledgeable of current and emerging threats and have the most up-to-date solutions to manage them.

Most important, never underestimate cyber-criminals.  Doing so makes you a target ─ and quite possibly the next news headline.

Source information contributed by Cisco, a Peak 10 technology partner.

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About Peak 10

"Our values are the foundation for everything we do at Peak 10, and are ultimately what enable us to earn our customers' business and their trust."
David H. Jones,
Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest