ID Theft Alerts for February 2014

Long Term Identity Theft Impacts

While many people think of the short term impacts of identity theft it is the long term ones that can be even more damaging. The victim of identity theft may spend years trying to clean up the errors on their credit report. This not only impacts your ability to get a home mortgage but to get a job. It is because both use a credit report to determine qualifications. So don’t forget to check your credit report for accuracy on a regular basis.

How to Get Employees to Improve Passwords

A good password is crucial to protecting your company networks. The problem is that the IT department is concerned with security while the employee is only concerned with ease of use. That is how you end up will passwords like “1234” or “password.” Here are some tips to move your employees to a higher level of security. I think the most useful is to implement two-factor authentication. This forces employees to up their security game.

Protect Digital Assets

It is not just personally identifiable information (PII) that must be protected. It is all the digital assets that a company keeps. This includes financial records, customer lists, marketing plans, and research work. This information is stored on desks, CDs, servers, and the cloud. It is important to know where the information is and who has access. The laws on getting to data are a patchwork that are difficult to navigate. For example, it it may be considered illegal to use the username and password of another person to access your company data. Make sure you have a transition plan in the event of disaster are employee separation.

Target Hackers Used HVAC Access

Target now believes that the hackers that hit them over the Christmas rush did so via the credentials given to Fazio Mechanical Services. This is an HVAC provider our of Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania that did work for Target. The reason that Target would give network access to an HVAC contractor was not revealed. It is believed the HVAC equipment was on the network to provide environmental information about the store and equipment trouble shooting. Be very, very, very, careful before you let anyone to access your network for any reason.