The vast majority of people utilize unsecure public wifi networks without considering the dangers. Yes, it is free and convenient. Yes, it allows people to catch up on personal emails while at lunch. It is also the quickest way to get hacked by cyber-criminals. That presents a serious danger to individuals who may find their bank accounts compromised, medical information used, or privacy invaded. Identity theft costs people billions of dollars each year, and the number of cases is climbing fast. Businesses are vulnerable to that same danger, only on a grander scale. There is more to lose for businesses than for most individuals.

It is true that businesses use secured networks or secured providers. It is also true that employees may have access to business information via their personal smart phones, tablets, or laptops. They may forget to switch devices before entering the password or code that provides access to business files, databases, documents, or client information. A mobile workforce professional may grab the wrong laptop out of the vehicle while inspecting a project site. The business is now suddenly at risk for cyber- theft, confidential information breaches, and increased liability. New research and development findings and plans can become available to the competition. Secured laboratory locations are vulnerable, or trade secrets can be stolen. Viruses can be uploaded, ransomware can hold the business hostage by encrypting all their records, and the entire system can crash in an instant.

Businesses can protect their data with the proper services and elements in place. Real-time monitoring, for example, can detect threats before they become a problem for the business. It can also ensure employee compliance with company policies. User access management services utilize military-grade security protocols to make sure data is only accessed by authorized personnel on authorized devices, at authorized locations. That will eliminate the danger of accessing business information on public wifi networks. Proper backup and disaster recovery plans are also helpful in securing business information. Backing up data on more than one source is recommended. Options include on-site, off-site, online, and cloud backup. A free cyber-security risk assessment is provided to help businesses determine what steps are needed to protect information.

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