In recent years, cybersecurity has become a significant concern for businesses of all sizes across the United States, and Florida is no exception. With the increasing amount of sensitive data stored online and the rising threat and sophistication of cyber attacks, Florida businesses must take proactive measures to protect themselves from potential cyber threats. Below are the top five cybersecurity concerns for Florida businesses:

  1. Phishing Attacks. Phishing attacks are a type of cyber attack where criminals send emails, text messages, or social media messages to trick people into giving away sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and social security numbers. In Florida, phishing attacks are one of the most common types of cyber attacks that businesses face.
  2. Ransomware Attacks. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key. A ransomware attack can completely lock down a computer network and seriously cripple a business.  Like phishing scams, ransomware attacks rely on unsuspecting people to click links, usually in email, to trigger the attack.
  3. Insider Threats. Insider threats are cyber threats that come from within an organization. These can include employees who intentionally or accidentally leak sensitive data or damage computer systems. Businesses would be wise to implement security policies and procedures that limit access to sensitive data and monitor employee behavior for signs of suspicious activity.
  4. IoT Devices. Internet of Things (IoT) devices are becoming increasingly popular in homes and businesses across Florida. These devices, such as smart speakers, security cameras, and thermostats, are often vulnerable to cyber attacks because they lack proper security measures.
  5. Third-Party Vendors. Many businesses in Florida rely on third-party vendors for IT support, cloud storage, and payment processing. While these vendors can be a valuable resource, they also pose a significant cyber risk. To protect themselves, businesses should thoroughly vet their vendors before working with them, require them to sign contracts that include cybersecurity provisions, and regularly monitor their security practices to ensure they are up to par.

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Continue Reading Securing Your Florida Business: Navigating the Top 5 Cybersecurity Risks

Since businesses like Amazon and eBay first burst upon the scene in the mid-1990s, shopping via the Internet has grown from a quirky way to find a few items to a convenient way to purchase just about anything. As we approach the first major holiday season with people wary of exposure, travel difficulties and social distancing within families, shopping on the Internet is the preferred option for many people, including many who are not experienced online shoppers.

While shopping online instead of at the mall can certainly lower the risk of exposure to COVID, it does, however, increase the risk of exposure to other dangers, such as hackers looking for personal information, malware, and identity theft.

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Continue Reading Put personal info protection on your holiday shopping list

Growing companies face all kinds of challenges. From financing to staffing, growth takes effort and attention. Among the many things that both drive growth and need this attention is the company’s intellectual property (“IP”). What follows are a few thoughts about some IP-related issues expanding businesses should keep in mind.

Button Up Protection

As businesses grow they must review their IP assets to ensure they are protected, especially the ones that are driving growth. These assets might include trademarks for new product names or brand extensions, taglines and logos, as well as patents for new technologies. Sometimes growth happens quickly and a business does not want to leave important assets unprotected.Continue Reading Growing Pains: Intellectual Property Challenges for Expanding Businesses

Hacking, security breaches and data theft are not laughing matters. However, people in the IT security industry often joke there are two types of computer systems—those that have been breached and those that will be breached. As hackers get more sophisticated and data theft becomes more lucrative, more systems are breached every day. It very likely is a case of not IF, but WHEN a data breach will occur. Therefore, you should consider your response to a data breach now so that you can plan to react coolly and calmly if something does occur.

Types of breaches

For purposes of this post, we are focusing on two types of breaches. First is the unauthorized intrusion by a third-party into your own computer systems resulting in the loss or theft of data. This type of incident might include actual, physical access to your systems, hacking from the outside or even theft from the inside, such as an employee copying files onto a memory stick and taking them home. The second involves unauthorized access into the systems of a third-party wherein your data stored with that third party was compromised. This might include the situation where your credit card payment processor gets hacked and the hackers obtain information about your customers’ credit cards and other personal information.

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ecommerce via maria elena on flickr creative commonsTerms of Use Agreements (TOU) are important to any entity that conducts business via the Internet. TOU provisions contain, usually, items like limitations on acceptable use of a website or app, site participant conduct and in e-commerce applications, important limitations of liability, warranty exclusions, and dispute resolution terms. Generically speaking, TOU documents usually contain the “fine print.” As such, TOU are intended to be contractual terms detailing the rights and responsibilities of the parties. However, contract terms are only binding if they are agreed-to and a recent decision in California has cast doubt on the enforceability of one widely used form of TOU on e-commerce sites.

Types of TOU AgreementsContinue Reading Why E-Commerce Sites Should Review Their Terms of Use Now