Computerworld describes how the security expert Thomas Ryan invented the character "Robin Sage" to demonstrate some of the risks of social networking. Ryan "used a few photos to portray the fictional Sage on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as an attractive, somewhat flirty cybergeek, with degrees from MIT and a prestigious prep school in New Hampshire. Then he established connections with some 300 men and women from the U.S. military, intelligence agencies, information security companies and government contractors."A story in Thursday's
It's an interesting story, and not a particularly reassuring one. It's not a particularly new one either, yet people continue to fall prey to these sorts of phishing schemes.
Even if your startup's security doesn't quite rise to the level of military intelligence and classified information, you do need to pay attention to security issues. The stakes are higher than just the damage to your reputation if it turns out your CTO has friended the next "Robin Sage" on Facebook.
According to secure web hosting providers FireHost, over 17,000 websites are hacked a day, and it's no longer just governmental agencies that are the targets. So if your business relies on its website - whether for e-commerce or just online presence, then you should take steps to secure it - to both human and technical vulnerabilities.
When choosing a hosting provider, says FireHost CEO Chris Drake, many folks look for the statistics around up-time and performance. But security provisions need to be taken into consideration as well. After all, if your business relies on website up-time and performance, a security breach can cause as much damage - if not more - than your host provider simply going down. Fines for leaked credit card information, for example, might run upwards of $200 per affected consumer and the damage to your finances, let alone your brand, could easily ruin your business.
You might want to bookmark FireHost's list of steps to take if your website is hacked:
But an ounce of prevention, as the saying goes, is worth a pound of cure. And Drake recommends taking steps to prevent security crises before they happen.
Of course, as the "Robin Sage" story demonstrates, you can't rely solely on the technology to protect you.