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The Biggest Data Security Risks of 2018 and What You Can Do about Them

If you followed the news headlines in 2017, you know it wasn’t a great year for information security. Data breaches hit big and small businesses across the globe. Fortunately, there’s a silver lining: information security awareness is also at an all-time high. Here’s what’s on the horizon for 2018 and how your organization can stay secure:

Phishing Attacks Continue

Phishing is a type of scam that targets individuals by sending them a seemingly-legitimate email and requesting information. If an employee takes the bait, malware is installed on your computer network. Moving into 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues to advise businesses to make their employees aware of these scams. Warn your employees to check the authenticity of emails or check with the IT department before clicking on links and/or sending sensitive information. Your firewall, anti-virus software, and web browser security patches should be regularly updated to minimize phishing threats.

Ransomware Is a Big Threat

An alphabet soup of ransomware attacks including Locky, WannaCry and Petya wreaked havoc on businesses in 2017. Ransomware will continue to be a threat in 2018, so if you haven’t made a resolution to strengthen your defenses, now is the time to start. Even if ransomware strikes, regularly-updated backups can help you get things running again with minor losses. Back up your application and system files daily, weekly and monthly and appoint specific tapes for each backup so you’re not relying on one device to restore your critical data.

Negligence Still Reigns Supreme

Not every data breach is a result of malicious intent; some are due to plain old carelessness. 2018 began with two high-profile incidents regarding the mishandling of documents and data. First, a radiology lab in Framingham, MA had to notify 9,387 patients after a portable hard drive was discovered missing. A week later, sensitive records from a defunct finance firm in Florida were found behind a dumpster.

What’s the lesson? When storing or disposing of sensitive information, it’s important to maintain a secure chain of custody. Rather than storing confidential files in file cabinets, store them offsite in a records center. Instead of taking backup tapes home, use a media rotation and storage service. And make sure your confidential documents stay out of the trash by investing in a scheduled paper shredding service.

When it comes to data security, in 2018, the stakes are higher than ever. Stay aware and choose a reliable and trusted provider to help keep your information safe this year and beyond!

Pacific Records Management provides records and information management services for businesses throughout Fresno, Stockton, Sacramento, Modesto, and Napa and Solano Counties. For more information, please call us at 800-685-9034 or complete the form on this page.

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