The Equifax Hack - Now What?

 

 

Each day, the news regarding the Equifax breach, where upwards of 143 million account records were exposed through a flaw in a web service, keeps getting worse.  On September 20th, we learned that apparently, the initial breach occurred sometime prior to March 2017 when Equifax hired an outside security company to review their systems but then, nearly four months went by before Equifax cyber-security personnel discovered it extent.  And then it was nearly two months later before the general public was told about it. It will likely be months or years till the full details and extent of the breach is fully understood.

There have been many other hacks and breaches over the past several years.  Many, like the Yahoo email address breach were much larger, exposing several times more user information. In the Yahoo hack, over a half billion email accounts and passwords were possibly exposed.  So why is the Equifax breach far more serious?  Because of the amount of personal data that’s stored by Equifax in one set of records. Nearly all important information about individuals including social security numbers, dates of birth, employment information, banking, loans, mortgages, and credit card information is right there. For the “bad-guys”, it’s a treasure trove.

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Honesty in the Workplace Starts with the Small Stuff

 by Debra J. Schmidt

More than thirty-nine percent of employees report that their bosses have asked them to do something that is dishonest or unethical, according to an opinion poll conducted by Loyalty Leader Inc.

Kevin started out in a middle management position at his company. Although this salary was modest, he worked hard and diligently supported his boss on a variety of projects as the business grew. He was promoted to a senior management position and the CEO took notice of Kevin’s dedication and excellent work. He decided to promote Kevin to assistant vice president and the two began working together very closely.

One day the phone rang in the conference room where they were meeting. Kevin answered and said, “Just a moment.” He covered the mouthpiece, then turned to the CEO and said, “It’s Kurt in accounting. He needs some information regarding the upcoming merger.

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Developing & Using Good Executive Summaries

Most business owners have a general idea of the executive summary that comes with the traditional business plan. However, in the real world, summaries come up much more often than just in the business plan. How to create the summary, and how to use it, depends on the business objective.

The summary you say every day

I’ve always liked “Say your business plan every day,” which I heard first from Jim Blasingame, small business advocate. Business is normally chaotic, so a quick reminder is a good idea.

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Why Bother with Upgrades & Updates


"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" That saying applies in many places, but NOT to computer hardware and software. It’s clear that many of today’s cyber attacks prey on vulnerabilities present in old software and hardware. This is especially true for operating systems such as Microsoft Windows.

It may not be “broke”, but it’s still old and very likely out-of-date. “Working” does not mean “secure”. Old software and hardware simply do not have the latest defenses like security patches and advances in firmware to keep you safe from new and ever-evolving threats. And depending on how old, some products are no longer supported or able to be upgraded at all.

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Marketing Mistakes that Can Lead to Trouble.

Advertising and marketing is regulated by federal law, and if you’re not on top of the regulations that apply to you, your ads could end up costing you more in fines than they bring in business. The Federal Trade Commission regulates and enforces advertising laws. Here are some key advertising and marketing mistakes small business owners should avoid.  

Mistake #1: Sending SPAM email. No one likes to receive spam, but you’ll be really unhappy if you are accused of sending it. If enough of your business emails get marked as spam, the recipients’ ISPs could block your emails, or your email service provider could shut off your campaign. But that’s the least of your worries, because breaking CAN-SPAM laws could cost you as much as $16,000 for each spam email.

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