Archive for September 13th, 2013

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Your Business is at Risk With These 4 Office Technologies

Cyber Security More than 10 billion wireless devices connect to the Internet. An additional 30 billion are anticipated to enter the market in the next seven years, according to Allied Business Intelligence, Inc. (ABI) research. Keep in mind workplaces are becoming smarter by using wireless technologies, such as “Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Cellular, and RFID.” Wireless technologies also expose vulnerabilities to hackers and security threats. Keep reading to learn how to safeguard your high-tech office gadgets from cyber crime.

1. Appliances & Automated Systems

Smart appliances, thermostats and automated systems can be remotely controlled from a smartphone or computer. You can set the break room coffee pot to brew from home, lock the doors from another room or turn the lights on before you arrive. Appliances also learn how to run more efficiently by tracking and storing patterns of use. For example, the Whirlpool® Smart Side-by-Side Refrigerator with 6th Sense LiveT technology features an Energy Advisor that tracks refrigerator energy use.

Information stored in these appliances can be a gold mine for a criminal. Times of low energy signifies an empty office. A criminal can hack in to your system and walk in through the front door. Safeguard your smart office from being compromised with a firewall installation that securely guards technologies plugged into your network.

Many manufacturers actively research software security and identify weaknesses that aren’t in compliance with security standards. A manufacturer sets its own security guidelines. Read your user manuals for security information and stay up-to-date on security trends and upgrades.

2. Digital Machines

Your digital copier, scanner or fax machine stores images and puts personal information at risk. Check that your machine has security software installed. If you operate older models, you might need to encrypt or overwrite data. Physically destroy the old copier’s hard drive before disposing the machine. Depending on the type of information your business uses and stores, you might be legally obligated to instate an information disposal program.

3. Security Alarm System

Alarm systems hardwired directly to authorities is practically ancient. Today, security systems connect to the Internet. Although the office is monitored 24/7, the entire system can be at risk – criminals can simply shut down the system before breaking in. Prevent compromised security by researching your options and different system’s specifications. An unbiased resource that compares different security systems can be found at securitycompanies.com. You can compare local companies to national companies and system features that will best meet your office needs.

4. Smartphones

In 2012, 289,874 Internet crime reports were filed, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. A smartphone, tablet, or iPad stores personal information and connects to the Internet, which can threaten security. Also, these devices are small and can be lost or stolen easily.

Use the security code feature on all your smartphones. Tell employees to use precaution when downloading apps, just like downloading a file onto a desktop computer. Install all available patches for your phone. Phone patches are similar to software updates for your computer’s operating system. Patches contain security updates that safeguard your phone and its stored information. During phone upgrades, responsibly discard the mobile devices to prevent data from reaching the wrong hands. For more information on securing your company’s network, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Business Security Center.

Posted in: Editorial