Viruses, Hackers, and Other Electronic Threats: Are You Prepared?

virus hacker malware ransomware electronic threats are you prepared protectedWith the advent of digital technologies and information has come a period of great advancement in business.

The use of more accessible and organized electronic systems for managing information brought with it massive growth across the spectrum of business functions—stretching from improved work efficiency and productivity all the way to reduced cost of record storage and management.

Despite this, the evolving capabilities of technologies has been matched by constant adaptation and development of the electronic threats like viruses and hackers that companies must continue to be on the lookout for.

As a result, in this article we explore the current role that electronic threats play in business today, breaking down not just the threats themselves, but also top strategies for protecting your business from them using secure document storage and electronic media destruction services as well.

Common Electronic Threats: Understanding Your Risk

common electronic threats understanding risks paying ransom ransomwareTerms like viruses, hackers, and data breaches frequently surface and resurface when discussing the electronic threats that businesses must continue to be on the lookout for—so what exactly do these phrases mean, or more importantly, what should they mean to you?

While the specifics of different electronic threats such as malware or viruses vary slightly—the essential point to take away from these is that they are various forms of malicious attacks used by individuals like hackers or scammers.

Using these nefarious strategies, hackers target either the personally identifiable information (PII) of individual victims, or instead turn their crosshairs toward the proprietary information, trade secrets, or marketing strategies of larger businesses.

Today, the importance of being aware of these threats is an increasingly growing concern in business. For a frame of reference on just how common they are, in the IBM-sponsored Cost of Data Breach Study conducted by the Ponemon Institute in 2016, the study determined based on previous research that one-in-four businesses would experience a data breach of at least 10,000 records in 2016.

Besides just the startling new evidence regarding the growing frequency of electronic threats and data breaches in recent years, this data is also supplemented with other facts that are sure to cause business owners to double take.

According to research, 48% of the data breaches affecting US businesses and organizations in 2016 were caused by malicious attacks such as ransomware (a form of malware used to encrypt unsecured information which hackers then ransom back to owners).

For businesses, this statistic is important to note because when an attack is caused by malicious means, it is consequently more expensive to remediate, as the business must completely trace back and root out the source of the attack to eliminate the chances of another security breach occurring.

To compound this, there is also the fact that with ever-evolving strategies and solutions for combating electronic threats have come newly-adapted techniques for attacks—many of which have potential to do more damage—further driving the potential impact of hackers and electronic threats and making it all the more critical businesses take steps to protect themselves.

Top Strategies for Threat Prevention

strategies protecting from electronic threats cloud storage edms hard drive shredding electronic document destructionWhen it comes to finding a solution for storing and managing electronic documents or information in the best way for protecting your business, there are typically several different routes for companies to take.

Whether you’re looking for a simplified and easy-to-access solution like cloud-based storage, or instead would prefer to manage the IT side of things on your end with an in-house electronic document management system to limit access as much as possible and open up customization options, there are secure strategies to take in either direction.

Here are some of the top Shred Nations strategies for protecting your digital information from electronic threats:

Cloud Storage Solutions

With cloud-based storage services, businesses are provided the ability to access their documents and information from anywhere and at any time—assuming you have an internet connection—using third-party document management systems hosted in offsite data centers.

Cloud storage strategies are often ideal for smaller businesses—especially ones that don’t have the budget for an internal IT department—as they are managed by service providers specializing in cloud storage and information security services. For instance, many cloud storage providers include SSL encryption services with software leasing fees—sweetening the deal with an added layer of security.

Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS)

On the flip-side of cloud storage lies server-based electronic document management system (EDMS) services. Although they must be managed and secured in-house, EDMS solutions do offer unique advantages in exchange for the convenience of cloud storage.

For large companies that manage massive amounts of records, some of the top benefits to using an EDMS stem from improved accessibility as well as system speeds, as the system no longer requires a constant internet connection in order to function properly.

Additionally, an EDMS is also incredibly useful for companies needing specialized tools or additions to the system, as a customizable EDMS allows for added security options including encryptions and network firewalls.

Hard Drive Shredding and Electronic Media Destruction Services

Once it comes time to either retire or dispose of your old electronic information and devices like computer hard drives, CDs, DVDs, or other electronic media, it’s important that businesses be sure to take steps to protect their information prior to disposal.

Because hackers and information thieves can use sophisticated software to restore the information that has been previously deleted from an electronic device, businesses must understand that absolute destruction of electronic media is the only way to guarantee the information it contains cannot fall into the wrong hands.  

At Shred Nations, our hard drive shredding and electronic media destruction services send a box truck equipped with heavy-duty hard drive shredders directly to your curbside.

After grinding your devices containing sensitive information to bits, your shredder will provide you a certificate of destruction to guarantee your service complies with all industry standards.

Get Free, No-Obligation Quotes on Electronic Document Storage and Destruction Services Today!

In a rapidly advancing digital world, the sophistication of electronic threats including hackers, viruses, and malware is also continuing to rapidly advance—driving the looming threat of a data breach further into the spotlight as a chief concern for businesses to keep in mind.

At Shred Nations, we partner with a wide range of the top industry experts and service providers, working to provide businesses like yours a secure option for protecting their information from electronic threats with the help of services ranging from hard drive shredding and electronic media destruction all the way to secure electronic document storage solutions.

To get started with setting up a secure storage service for your electronic documents still in use or to schedule a destruction service for your electronic devices ready for retirement, just give us a call at (800) 747-3365, or simply fill out the form to your right to request free quotes on storage and shredding services today!

Additional Resources

Best Practices in Business: Protecting from Electronic Threats

Although new technology has brought a wealth of benefits to business and everyday life, the use of digital documents does expose companies to new electronic threats which specifically target electronic information and the systems that businesses use to manage documents. In this in-depth white paper, we provide some of the best practices for protecting from these threats including electronic media destruction and encryption services.

How to Avoid a Data Breach

Whether caused by accident or by malicious means, a data breach can have earth-shattering impact on a company. In this article, we explore the growing concern of data breaches in business today as well as provide helpful strategies for ensuring that your company doesn’t fall victim to a data breach too.

Protecting Your Company Against Fraud and Theft

With new electronic threats to be watchful of emerging each day, it can be easy for businesses to let their hard-copy documents and storage systems fall to the back burner. In this in-depth white paper, we take a closer look at some of the most common threats companies must still be on the lookout for, providing information to help your company ensure your documents are protected from creation all the way to their destruction.