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E-Business 

Q  What level of security is necessary for a small business with an e-business component?

A A recent statement by International Data Corporation suggested that, on average, each new DSL connection experiences three hacker attacks, or intrusions, in the first 48 hours. The following software and infrastructure configurations can be used to elevate security:

  • Firewalls
  • Encryption
  • Secure network perimeters
  • Virtual private networks

It is important to work with your technology partner and ISP to investigate options and determine the level of security required for your business. One size does not fit everyone. The FBI indicates that hacking cases make up only 20% of their total case load. However, their statistics indicate that disgruntled employees are the biggest security problem. Security intrusion probabilities by source break down like this for businesses:

  • Independent hackers (86%)
  • Competitors (53%)
  • Foreign competitors (30%)
  • Foreign governments (21%)

Since many security problems are caused by internal sources, network and online security can be improved dramatically through internal business control. Or, the converse is true. Without an internal security policy in place, any business is highly vulnerable. The following actions will improve security.

  • Address computer security policies in the company personnel policy manual
  • Post banner warnings on employee systems
  • Document computer and software policies with employee user agreements
  • Establish codes of conduct and terms for continuation of employment
  • Create a system to deactivate employee accounts prior to termination
  • Consider keystroke monitoring to support ongoing problems and termination
  • Establish a computer security policy
  • Establish policies for physical security of facility; door locks, restricted access, ID options, security guards, etc.
  • Implement policies for physical security of computers
  • Require a fine for loss of a laptop
  • Establish controls for contents of laptops; customer lists, strategic plans, pricing data, R&D info, etc.
  • Restrict access to unused network jacks
  • Restrict the use of infrared devices
  • Establish policies to control the circulation and destruction of information
  • Use 3rd party "recoverable" encryption products for sensitive data
  • Mark "sensitive data" required to be controlled
  • Shred proprietary and personal information before discarding
  • Map your network
  • Compile a list of all running services
  • Know and record typical traffic patterns; recognize abnormal patters
  • Scan all disks for viruses
  • Obtain software from reliable sources
  • Implement and enforce account and password procedures
  • Delete obsolete or inactive web pages
  • Update anti-virus software regularly
  • Obtain and install security patches
  • If intrusion software is used, update it frequently and read the output
  • Install, test, and update firewalls
  • Implement a policy to maintain and inventory software
  • Maintain copy sets of installed software, as backup
  • Prepare a contingency plan, to maintain service
  • Establish an incident response plan
  • Prepare a response checklist
  • Compile a written list of security personnel names and contact information
  • Turn on all logs in event of an incident
  • Write logs to a remote computer
  • Read and analyze logs
  • Take a snapshot of the system during an incident
  • Verify time stamps on logs
  • Determine the cost of the incident
  • Contact appropriate authorities

 


 

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Page last updated: October 11 2013

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