Do you need more evidence to be diligent in using best practices for security on the Internet?

Internet attacks have been impacting businesses, with the majority of them reporting significant effects in the form of increased help desk time, reduced employee productivity and disruption of business activities.

As much as $1 million was reportedly stolen, you might remember back in 2011 and given to charity, after thousands of credit card numbers and other personal information were hacked from security think tank Stratfor by the furtive cyber group calling itself Anonymous.

Of course, all it did was hurt the charities because they had to expend valuable resources – time and money – in refunding money to the credit card holders.

Bloomberg reported that commerce is active on criminal trading sites – as much as $3.50 is paid for each stolen credit card.

US-CERT reported that spear-phishing attacks have been launched on members of the United States Automobile Association (USAA).

Cybercriminals are trying to trick USAA members into opening e-mails by using “Deposit Posted” in the subject line. The e-mails are designed to trick USAA members into opening attachments that contain malware. Once unleashed, the activated malware invades the victims’ computers searching for their sensitive personal information.

“Readers should remain on alert to keep safe from attacks by following the following three basic rules,” writes nationally recognized security expert, Stan Stahl, Ph.D., of Citadel Information Group in Los Angeles.

His basic rules:

1. Do not open attachments in emails unless the email is expected. Do not click on links in unexpected emails. Attachments and links can be booby-trapped. When in doubt check with the sender.

2. Keep systems updated with the latest software versions.

3. Keep anti-malware solutions up-to-date. Consider moving to advanced host-based intrusion prevention.

WIFI warning

The most-read Biz Coach article of all time quoted Dr. Stahl’s security checklist for using Starbucks’ WIFI.

Also highly read is our mobile-banking warnings about security prove prophetic.

You can sign up for his “Weekly Patch and Vulnerability Report” and his blog at

Actually, most small businesses make you vulnerable to credit card fraud and identity theft.

Therefore, businesses need to be diligent, too, and prepare with precautions and response philosophy.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more resource links:

Security Precautions to Take Following Citibank’s Second Reported Online Breach — Citibank’s admission that private information of 360,083 North American Citigroup credit card accounts was stolen by hackers in 2011, which affected 210,000 customers, serves as a warning for all businesses and consumers to take precautionary steps. The bank’s May 2011 security breach wasn’t reported until weeks later. Originally, Citibank said 200,000 accounts were affected.

How to Protect Your Bank Account from the Internet Crime Wave — For Citibank customers and millions of other consumers who enjoy the convenience of online banking, a headline about Internet crime was alarming.

Why Many Healthcare Workers Are Responsible for Alarming Trend: Medical ID Theft— Medical identity theft is skyrocketing. It’s the fast-growing trend in ID thievery.

Lesson about Passwords after Theft of 16,000+ UCLA Patient Records —  Unfortunately, we’ve learned another lesson about passwords at the expense of 16,288 patients who’ve been treated at UCLA’s network of hospitals and clinics.  The patients’ sensitive information are in the wrong hands following a burglary of a doctor. The information was on the computer hard drive stolen from a doctor’s home.

“You can’t hold firewalls and intrusion detection systems accountable. You can only hold people accountable.”

-Daryl White


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.