Spring Cleaning for Your Agency – Part Two

In today’s technologically savvy world, internet security issues have a constant place in the news headlines. With security breaches at seemingly safe and reputable institutions (i.e., Target, Michaels, and just recently Ebay), it is important for all businesses to be aware of potential security lapses or concerns. Here are some things to consider as you are reviewing your security protocol.

    1. Don’t write credit card information on paper and save it to process later. While we all have the best intentions of finishing unfinished business, it is easy to get side tracked. Misplaced information that lands in the wrong hands could leave customer accounts at a huge risk for identity theft and fraud.
    2. Utilize your software program’s permissions settings. Permissions settings allow you to restrict access to areas of your system that hold valuable information. This is an easy step to add another layer of protection to your current security measures.
    3. Lock your firewall. It is important that there are minimal access points from the outside world to your network. Each of these points of entry is another way that hackers can gain access to private information.
    4. Change passwords regularly. Every company that has online access (that means pretty much everyone) should have a protocol to change security passwords on a regular basis. In the words of IT guru Chris Pirillo, “Passwords are like underwear: you don’t let people see it, you should change it very often, and you shouldn’t share it with strangers.” With that in mind, consider requiring quarterly or even monthly password changes for all employees. And, make sure that this practice is strictly enforced. Even one unchanged password could be a way for a hacker to break through.
    5. Educate your staff. While having a security procedure in place is an important part in keeping your systems safe and efficient, if your staff is not properly trained and does not clearly understand the organizational expectations, all your efforts could be in vain.

Most of these steps might seem very logical and easy; however, many organizations have a false sense of security, or hold the “it won’t happen to us” attitude. As Richard Clarke, the US National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-Terrorism was quoted to say, “If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, you will be hacked. What’s more, you deserve to be hacked.”

If you have questions about your company’s security procedures or need advice on how to integrate them into your debt collection software solutions, we would be delighted to help!