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Get hacked. Go under. Protect your business

Posted at 6:53 PM, Mar 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-16 21:53:12-04
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Just about everyone has a stake in this story---because your money, and so much of your life is in computer data people know how to hack.
        
A cyber security conference in Tucson this week aims to help businesses guard your data. 
 
Better security not only helps your business stay safe--it can help it grow.
 
Robbers who steal with a gun may run off with just a few dollars.
        
Robbers who steal with a keystroke can do enough damage to kill a small company.
         
The security firm Symantec says sixty-four percent of companies with fewer than 500 workers go out of business within a year of being hacked.
         
A conference sponsored by Arizona Techology Council teaches how to shut hackers out.
          
Cristie Street of Nextrio says even for small companies the safe place to store data may not be in-house, but in the cloud---storage you reach through the internet secured with tech tougher than a small company's likely to have on its own.
 
She says, "Storage is actually starting at about 50 dollars per terabyte, per month. A terabyte is a huge amount of data.  That's a thousand gigabytes.  Most small and absolutely every micro business can get away with one terabyte of storage in the cloud and pay as little as fifty dollars a month."
 
A big part of your security isn't technical, it's human.  Who do you trust to let into your systems?
      
Target's data breach happened because it gave an air conditioning contractor access to its network to service air conditioning units.  A dishonest worker with the smaller company used that access to steal customer data.
       
Security expert Mark Pribish of Merchants Information Solutions says if a small business hopes to do business with a big one it had better be able to prove its computers and its people can be trusted to connect to the big company's network.
 
"Every small business, if they want to grow and increase their revenue and increase their profits, they should be very strong on information security and governance."
        
And that means not just protective tech, but background checks and rules to keep workers from infecting a network by accident.