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But...it's just a password or a patch...

As many of you have recently read, there have been a couple of highly impactful security breaches against large, trusted corporations.  These have even potentially directly impacted you personally, and have definitely impacted our industry.  Deloitte, who is a provider for a number of Fortune 100 companies, as well as local, state, and federal governments, was compromised through an email password.  One of our industry leaders was compromised through a published weakness in their software.  You say, "If they can be hacked, what hope is there for me?"  I think there are excellent lessons in how we care for our data and clients' data.

 

First, let's talk about passwords.  Are they such a big deal?  There is a saying that "a bad employee is worse than a good hacker."  A bad employee can cause all kinds of trouble and they have access to the systems.  If you are not controlling your passwords (updating, keeping from sharing, etc.), then you have no way of knowing who is actually accessing your system.  How will you ever know who is doing what?  Are you keeping your passwords strong?  If you suspect ANYTHING is going on, force a password change!

 

Patching is another easy thing you can do to protect yourself.  With the data provider that was hacked, there was a patch available for one of their applications...since March.  If you don't patch, you are at great risk for someone to take advantage of a flaw in your systems.  Microsoft, Adobe, Google, and Firefox all release regular patches.  Make sure that you are taking advantage of those!  Beyond that, make sure that you know what software people are using in your office.  Check those regularly to see if they need to be patched or updated.  You don't have to be a computer expert to perform these actions.  Just make the time or assign someone to do so.

 

At FRS, we are diligent about both of these.  We scan every system in our office and the data center to identify patches and other settings that may need to be addressed.  We keep your FRS systems secure.  We try to have all of our clients use strong passwords and our clients should NEVER share logins and passwords.
 

If you do your part, you can make yourself an unattractive target to those who may wish to harm or take advantage of you.  Are you doing your part?

Mark Martens, VP of Technology and Operations           

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