5 Signs You Need to Upgrade Data Security

by Tom Dinome

Your virtual vault is open.

“If you have a good idea, you need to protect it,” says John Randall, director of IT for Aqcess Technologies, a 50-employee, Santa Ana, Calif.-based computer manufacturing company. Companies that don’t protect their data, ideas, and business plans leave the door wide open for theft. To keep its plans secret, Aqcess set up an Internet firewall, password policies, and discretionary file access on a by-department basis. “We look at our measures as a general security issue,” Randall says.

Your clients are skeptical.

The 12-person firm of nCognito Interactive Services, based in Chicago, Ill., addresses security concerns up front with customers. They track, measure, and issue reports on visitors to customers’ Web sites. “We don’t ask for any personal data, only demographic and behavioral information,” president Scott Olechowski comments. “We let customers know that even if someone got their hands on the data, they wouldn’t be able to track users down.”

Customers are leery of giving credit card numbers.

Pete Nicoletti, CTO/CIO of ByeByeNOW.com, an Internet provider of leisure travel packages, based in Pompano Beach, Fla., understands the importance of rock solid security. “I know I feel safer making purchases online than I do giving a waiter my credit card,” Nicoletti says. “We want our customers to feel safe.” The company adheres to all online security standards, uses 128-bit encryption, and consults a third-party security firm to make sure all transactions are secure.

You aren’t worried about hackers.

“You don’t want to wake up one morning and learn your site’s been hacked,” says Ben Vitale, co-founder and vice president of operations for vcapital.com. The site matches entrepreneurs seeking capital with appropriate venture capitalists. To protect their sensitive data, vcapital.com set up a firewall between the Internet and its Web site. They also use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) secure transmission technology to keep hackers out.

Client data isn’t protected.

Ensuring safe transactions is not enough, data must be protected as well. Airport Graphics, a 10-employee graphics firm in Costa Mesa, Calif., doesn’t want to jeopardize their customers’ trust. “All electronic files undergoing revisions are stored on password-protected FTP sites designated for each project,” says Airport Graphics’ Chuck Runfola. “We don’t want anyone looking at our customers’ files at any point.”

Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing addresses the technology needs of small businesses, which are defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees and/or less than $7 million in annual sales.
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