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Monday, April 24, 2017

Teach your employees well

Small business hacking is becoming more prevalent. The payoff isn’t as big but the opportunity is greater and security is lacking. Security firm Symantec reported in 2016 that 43% of cyber attacks were against small business. Small businesses have little in the way of security and employee training. They often have more to lose in the sense that they have less cash flow or all of their money is tied up in their business. Making them more likely to pay ransoms. (Ransomware is explained in more detail in our post-If you ever want to see your files again…)

Attacks can be as simple as rerouting the web address to a porn site, locking all of the computers for a ransom, all the way to hacking financial data and cleaning out bank accounts. More than half of the companies attacked were forced to go out of business. Maintaining sound computer security cannot be emphasized enough.

The website Small Business Trends, in an article posted January 3, 2017, stated that 48% of attacks are caused by an employee error. In addition to updating security software one of the biggest defenses owners can deploy is educating their employees on cyber attack indicators. The malware has to enter the system somehow. Simply clicking on attachments will send the virus into the network to do its work. The more stealthy viruses will enter the system without a show of existence. These are meant to mine data from the system. By the time you find the virus the bank accounts are fleeced.

Regularly train employees on different types of attacks and how to defend against them. Establish a policy for computer usage. Explain what is acceptable Internet use. Malware can be injected via email attachments or links to websites. These links can be introduced through email or social media. Demonstrate what a suspicious email, link, social media contact looks like. Practice solid password policies and change regularly. Encourage employees to speak up when something is suspicious and do not click on the suspicious activity.

Even if you do not think you store valuable data, although customer records are a valuable commodity, the chance of losing your business data or risking a financial attack is too great a chance to take.

See our blog archive for other posts relating to cyber security:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

437th sine die

The 437th session of the Maryland General assembly came to a close on Monday, April 10, 2017. Here are the business related laws that were passed.

Paid sick leave: Businesses with 15 or more employees would be required to provide five days of paid sick leave.

Manufacturing: Tax incentives will be offered to companies that add manufacturing jobs and provide related training for skilled workers.

Health care: A commission was formed to monitor federal actions that affect Maryland health care.

Governor Hogan has said that he will veto the paid sick leave bill. Governor Hogan proposed his own paid sick leave bill that set the employee mark for businesses at 50 and included tax incentives for smaller companies that offered paid sick leave. If the bill is vetoed, the legislature does have the necessary votes to override the veto. However, lawmakers will not have an opportunity to override the veto until next year’s legislative session, delaying the implementation of the bill until 2018.

437th session has more business laws January 2017