With the recent cyber-attacks on large retail stores like Target and Neiman Marcus, businesses of all sizes must take proper precaution to ensure the security of both their own private data and the personal data of their customers. Aside from an innovative business continuity plan and secure IT support, an efficient business network relies on strong passwords from owners and employees.

According to The Washington Post, the Target hacker used software known as BlackPOS to infect sales systems and steal credit card information along with other financial records. The 17-year old Russian teenager then gained remote access by trying several easy and commonly used passwords, eventually logging in. Using “weak passwords” for your business’s cloud storage can leave your IT network exposed to personal data leaks. As the leading IT specialists, Brash Concepts warns businesses of the potential risk of using vulnerable passwords.

Here are a few IT consulting tips for strengthening your weak passwords to ensure your data remains private:

Strong Passwords: A strong password contains upwards of 14 characters. This includes a combination of upper and lowercase letters as well as at least one number and one symbol.

Use Mnemonic Devices: Do not use the same password for multiple devices and data libraries. Use the first letters of an easy sentence for a strong and unique password for each level of security. Example: a5Ceg: all 5 Cows eat grass.

Passwords Require Consistent Updates: When going through a system update or a network change, it is best to change your password to something new and equally complex.

In addition to privately monitored IT consulting from Brash Concepts, business owners and employees must take individual steps to protect their personal data. Weak passwords can easily leave your business’s confidential files susceptible to cyber-attacks and hacks. Secure your IT data center and develop a reliable business continuity plan with the help of Brash Concepts today!

Are you or were you a MySpace user?  If so, we have bad news.

The struggling company recently announced that when they attempted to migrate all user data to new servers, something in the process went wrong. As a result, massive amounts of user data was lost.

The only way to describe the loss is catastrophic, with the company reporting that most user-uploaded videos, songs and photos added to the site between 2003 and 2015 are gone with no hope of recovery.  More than a decade’s worth of content, gone in the blink of an eye.

The company’s official announcement reads as follows:

“As a result of a server migration project, any photos, videos and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available on or from MySpace.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  If you would like more information, please contact our Data Protection officer.”

That’s it. Even worse, the migration happened more than a year ago, in February 2018.  At that time, users took to Reddit to complain about not being able to access content that was more than three years old.  Eventually, the level of complaints grew to the point that the company could no longer ignore it and finally came clean.

IT managers and business owners should take notes on this incident.  This is possibly one of the worst handlings of a data loss incident we’ve seen in recent history.  Not only was the company completely uncommunicative for more than a year, when they did finally make an announcement, it was terse.

Describing that level of data loss as an ‘inconvenience’ is not just insensitive, it’s bad business.  If the company was struggling before, that goes double now and worst of all, it was, from start to finish an entirely self-inflicted wound.

In any case, if you are, or were a MySpace user at some point, most of your older data is probably gone forever.