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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Secure Your Information

Information has never been easier to obtain or access. The Internet, Social Media, Cloud Computing, online analytics, and many more technologies we use have opened doors heretofore closed.

The SEC recently ruled that companies seeking private investments are allowed to advertise and they can use social media to announce key information. These decisions can be double-edged swords.  While reducing the costs associated with obtaining funding, it also provides the risk of putting to much information into the hands of everyone. On line security is not infallible as we have seen through many examples in the press. A great deal of time could be diverted to fixing security issues with your information, and it may be too-little-too-late. You cannot unring a bell.

You also have no control over social media’s security. The best you can do is use complex passwords and control physical access of employees who use these accounts.

So how do you balance getting work done and protecting your information? A well planned and implemented strategy is needed.

While not insuring safety, using information collected and balancing compliance with laws, rules, regulations, agreements, etc., with internal policies is a critical element for a viable business.

Effective compliance can be assisted by using a systemic understanding of the issues, seeking methods that can help with multiple needs, and applying automation where possible, to reduce costs.

In business, as with much of life, it often becomes necessary to share critical information with others. But we should not assume that everyone treats this information with the same sense of privacy as you do. So be sure to tell each person what you expect and the potential threats if the information is misused, and practice good governance processes to provide an added level of security.

The answers here cannot be left to technologies or laws. It is up to you to protect your information. In fact, while it may be extreme, it was recently reported that the Russian Government placed a large order for “old” typewriters as on line security for some information is was deemed insufficient.

Reminder: SCORE Counselors have signed confidentiality agreements to protect your information.

How are you handling this?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor


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