What's the Biggest Cybersecurity Threat?  Employees.

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Nov 17, 2015 8:30:00 AM

The majority of cybersecurity incidents can be attributed to employee error, according to a March 2015 CompTIA study.   Risky employee behavior and inadequate cybersecurity training by employers are largely to blame. With cybercrime on the rise and the cost of a breach averaging $38,000 for a small business, workforce education is a wise investment.

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Topics: Security Information, small business, data breach, cybercrime, technology

Tips for an Effective Company Email Policy

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Sep 1, 2015 8:30:00 AM

We've been hearing a lot in the news about the misuse by government employees of work or official email.  (Think: fomer Secretary of State, Ms. Lerner at the IRS, and federal employees looking for extra-marital friends). It may lead us to think about how we or our employees use email and if it violates company policy.  And, perhaps it's an opportunity to review (or create) an email policy and make sure employees understand it.  

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Topics: Security Information, small business, data breach

Five Questions Answered about Virginia's Data Breach Law

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Jul 28, 2015 8:30:00 AM

In past blogs we’ve discussed the threat of cybercrime and steps to protect systems, but what if a breach does occur and personal information is put at risk?  Most states have data breach statutes that dictate how companies are required to respond.  Virginia is no exception.  Here are the highlights of Virginia’s data breach statute.

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Topics: Security Information

Avoid an OPM Nightmare – Protect the Security of Employee Information

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Jul 21, 2015 8:30:00 AM

So, the Federal government’s HR department was hacked.  You’ve probably heard – 22 million former and current federal employees had their personal information stolen (including yours truly).  Chances are you know someone who is affected, and chances are they are NOT happy.  Some are suing.

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Topics: Security Information

What are Lawmakers Doing to Thwart Cybercrime?

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Jun 16, 2015 8:00:00 AM

capitolA previous blog discussed the real and growing threat of cybercrime for businesses, particularly small businesses.  So, a logical question may be what is being done about it, not just by individual businesses, but by our policy makers.  Given the breadth of the threat and economic damage wrought by attacks, clearly it is in the interest of both government and business to thwart cybercrime and protect their systems. 

Dating back to the Clinton Administration, the Federal government has encouraged information sharing between the public and private sectors to more quickly identify and respond to cyberthreats.  However, despite these efforts to facilitate cooperation, hurdles in the form of legal liability, IP protection, antitrust violations and privacy concerns have hindered participation.

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Topics: Security Information

Cybercrime: The Event That Could Shut Down Your Business in 6 Months

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Jun 2, 2015 11:00:00 AM

 

For small businesses who are focused on selling their products or services, maintaining cash flow, and making payroll; something as daunting as “cybersecurity” may get pushed to the bottom of the priority list.   Business owners may feel they don’t have the time or resources to invest in preparing for what seems a remote event.  Understandable logic perhaps, but potentially dangerous in practice.  Increasingly, cyber-criminals are targeting small companies, and about 60% of small business victims of cyberattacks close within six months

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Topics: Security Information

5 Small Business Objections to Backup and Malware

Posted by Elizabeth Chisman Moon

Feb 2, 2015 1:03:07 PM


We just had another one.  A member of our sales team comes with head hung low to discuss a potential client that wants to “skip” backup.  I’ve resorted to banging my head on the desk.  With alarming frequency, we meet small business owners who believe they are “too small” to need backup or even the most rudimentary of malware or security protection. These are the top five objections we hear from small business owners when discussing backup and security.

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Topics: Musings, Security Information, Selecting IT Vendors

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FocusData: TECHPol is a blog on technology and business policy issues affecting small and mid-sized companies.  TECHPol’s primary author, Lori Salley Ring, spent 20-plus years working on Capitol Hill, including as the top staffer on the House Committee on Small Business.  FDS is an IT consulting firm providing managed services, office tech relocation, network security, and IT support for businesses in the Washington, DC and Northern Virginia area.

Technology Policy Small Business


About the Author

Lori Salley Ring

Lori Salley Ring

Lori serves as Policy Advisor and Communications Specialist for Focus Data Solutions.  Lori spent more than 20 years working for the U.S. Congress, including as Chief of Staff to a member of the House leadership and as the Staff Director for the Committee on Small Business.  Lori also ran a Washington-based non-profit organization between stints working for the Federal government. 

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