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Risky Business for Your Business
w.08.2007
Risky Business for Your Business
You are a small business owner and you wear 10 different hats. You are smart, and take advantage of commoditized products and services for some aspects of your business. This is a list of some of the dangers that may not be readily apparent when using commoditized products and services.

  • Computer Repair & Support
    It is a common need for a small business to need help with hardware and software issues, that frequently need a specialist to be called in. One might be tempted to call up a national electronic retailer who provides inexpensive tech help. While the spirit of this type of business is great, we believe it can also be dangerous. Any large national chain needs workers in the thousands. These people are usually hired in the normal fashion that retail employment is setup for, application & interview. While these are two valid ways to narrows tens of thousands down to thousands, it does nothing for selection of people's moral cores or trustworthiness. You'd have to agree that as with any large retailer hiring thousands of employees, a percentage of these employees will inevitably be without a sound base. You'd have to agree that at least some percentage would have to be criminals, if not in the past, but are willing to take advantage of others. When someone says, "That national retailer is good" they of course are not speaking of the individual who will have access to all your sensitive information, they are only referring to the national retailer as a whole. Whether you know it or not, if you've had you computer for any length of time, there is almost without a doubt information that can make you vulnerable to identity theft, blackmail, or simply outright theft. Usernames, passwords, account numbers and business information are just a few things that in some way or another people usually manage to leave in old files, or even deleted files that are still accessible.

    Now don't get me wrong, these national retailers do employ a good percentage of great people. I also am not saying this because I want you to choose us to fix your computers, because quite frankly, we don't want to fix your computers. There is no money in that. The point I am trying to get across is it is infinitely better to find a trusted source of support, and ask them about minimizing your exposure to outside people in the event of need. For example, enacting company wide encrypted storage for all sensitive information is not all that expensive. Getting network attached storage and having your staff store everything centrally can limit your exposure as well. Finally, for day to day software issues find a source for help and stick with them. Having random help sent from large retailers is like playing roulette. It only take a few seconds for one of them to put in a thumb drive and plant a root kit on just one of your PC's, and they have you. The more wise criminals do not "take down" your network, that'd be too obvious, they rather quietly wait and partake in your information over the course of months.

  • Document Disintegration
    Every year we take on new documents to store as per legal requirements. However, that usually means we are then able to rid ourselves of the previous older documents in storage. Shredding boxes and boxes full of sensitive paper can be a strain on a small business since most prosumer shredders, even the higher end items, can only shred continuously for a couple minutes.

    Enter the solutions. You can hire a company to drive a big truck to your location and shred everything onsite. It is very secure, but also expensive, and usually for large volume businesses. You can also take your old documents to a shredding service, it is less expensive, however comes with caveats.

    Gish Network, building on it's existing trust network, offers secure document disintegration. We have an industrial disintegrator that can disintegrate documents to DOD level security. You may not have the need to disintegrate, perhaps merely shred, but consider this: In the time between handing the box to the retail worker, and the time it actually gets shredded, there is time for mischief. So, in the end, such documentation should be handled by a trusted partner.




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