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Computer Security Not Just a Concern For Large Businesses
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By A Thomas Young

Why would someone want to steal our data? Why would someone want to hack us? Are employees wasting company time cruising the Internet for frivolous or potentially illegal purposes? As the owner of a small- to medium-sized business, with a close-knit family atmosphere, you probably think this is unlikely in your workplace. Or, you may think that these questions don´t necessarily apply to your business. Not so.

Given this environment, your approach to Internet security probably involves updating an anti-virus program periodically or installing a basic firewall. This casual attitude can result in a wide range of problems that can be easily avoided. To ensure that your data is safe and your employees productive, you may want to re-evaluate your approach to security.

On one hand, a casual attitude toward security can result in a disastrous loss of valuable data critical to your operation costing thousands or tens-of-thousands of dollars to recover. On the other hand, your system can be infected with a virus, a major inconvenience resulting in lost time, decreased productivity and loss of data. In both situations, productivity is curtailed and your company´s bottom line is affected to some degree.

Companies should also consider the "intangible" losses resulting from breaches of security. They can include:

Time taken to update virus protection
Time spent on getting help
Lost time based on employees´ pre-occupation with a virus and its effect
While there is no reason for panic, medium-size companies can implement policies that can protect data and ensure that employees are using the Internet for work-related tasks.

Keep in mind that your data is important and that someone out there – perhaps a spammer or hacker – has his sights set on your server. Additionally, companies without a security/usage policy, where employees cruise the Internet at work, can lose money in wasted time, unproductive workers and missing data.

The first question we hear from companies is, "Who would want to steal our data?" Or, "There´s nothing here of real value." If that´s your attitude, consider the following:

A small accounting firm has important financial information such as salaries, earnings, and Social Security numbers. It´s a perfect target for hackers attempting identity theft.


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