SOURCE: BitDefender

BitDefender

March 11, 2010 08:59 ET

BitDefender Offers Tips to Protect Your Company and Customers From Data Breaches

Fraud, Identity Theft, Impersonation and Sabotage Are Only a Few of the Actions Cybercriminals Can Take to Damage Your Business and Finances

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA--(Marketwire - March 11, 2010) -  BitDefender®, an award-winning provider of innovative anti-malware security solutions, today cautioned companies to take additional steps in order to secure internal communications and protect sensitive information from data breaches. While only six percent of data loss incidents can be attributed to malware attacks, these data loss incidents cause companies far more damage than hardware failure or human error, often leading to loss of capital, credibility and more.

Data theft, especially when it is related to a company's proprietary procedures and intellectual property, is an extremely expensive risk, and securing internal communication over email, instant messaging, voice over IP, Websites and file servers must be a key concern for all businesses. While many companies may consider themselves immune to cyber-attacks, security incidents can occur very easily if steps are not taken quickly to protect information and employees are not properly instructed in how to handle sensitive company information.

The three most important steps to protect a company are:

  • Ensure each computer has an individual password, known by only a single user or a biometric authentication module.
  • Provide training to employees every several months by a security specialist who can inform them of new risks and steps they should take to protect their data.
  • Pay great attention to removable storage devices, such as hard-disk drives, flash and memory cards. These are the main infection point for worms, which can open the door to other categories of malware, including Trojans and viruses that have the ability to quickly spread throughout a company network.

"Fraud, identity theft, impersonation and sabotage of campaigns and new product launches are only a few of the actions cybercriminals can take to damage your business, sometimes even irrevocably," said Catalin Cosoi, BitDefender's senior researcher. "All the information present in a company's file, including client contact details and bank transaction histories, provide the tools a cybercriminal needs to engage in targeted malicious attacks and the type of insider sabotage that can wreak havoc on a company's image, damaging relationships with prospects, customers and even business partners."

Other tips to protect against data breaches include:

  • Take extra steps to secure your company's mail servers -- they are the most sensitive links to "the outer world" and contain a wealth of private information.
  • Email is a significant entry point for various worms and Trojans. Poor antispam protection can open the door to significant amounts of spam, which often include e-threats and attachments.
  • Cross-site scripting, code insertion and SQL injections are only a few of the threats associated with Website hacking and have the ability to expose sensitive customer data including addresses and credit card information. Should your Website fall victim to a hacking attack, it is mandatory that the Web server be taken down for further investigation and all exposed customers be informed of potential data breaches.
  • Closely monitor employees' social networks and instant messaging services -- classified information can be leaked unintentionally by employees through social network profiles and even personal blogs.
  • Updates and backups are critical, and small businesses that do not have full time IT specialists should consider hiring an IT company to regularly perform backups and educate personnel of risks.
  • Physical network security is also a key element in protecting a company's intellectual property and the information that is stored on systems and file-servers. For example, routers and switches should never be placed in rooms accessible to everyone.

BitDefender also offers the following tips to keep computers, money and personal information safe:

  • Install and activate a reliable antimalware solution, such as those provided by BitDefender.
  • Update your antimalware, firewall and spam filter as frequently as possible, with the latest virus definitions and suspicious application/file signatures.
  • Scan your system frequently.
  • Don't open e-mails from unknown sources.
  • Never download or open attachments you received in e-mail spam.

To stay up-to-date on the latest e-threats, sign-up for BitDefender's RSS feeds here.

About BitDefender®
BitDefender is the creator of one of the industry's fastest and most effective lines of internationally certified security software. Since its inception in 2001, BitDefender has continued to raise the bar and set new standards in proactive threat prevention, emerging as the industry's anti-malware innovator. Every day, BitDefender protects tens of millions of home and corporate users across the globe -- giving them the peace of mind of knowing that their digital experiences will be secure. BitDefender solutions are distributed by a global network of value-added distribution and reseller partners in more than 100 countries worldwide. More information about BitDefender and its products are available at the company's security solutions press room. Additionally, BitDefender's www.malwarecity.com provides background and the latest updates on security threats helping users stay informed in the everyday battle against malware.

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