Data Do’s and Don’ts

Attention smaller cable operators and internet service providers: The Federal Trade Commission has created a program to help small businesses protect sensitive data.

“Cyber-attacks on small businesses threaten their reputations, their profit margins and, in some cases, even their survival,” the FTC said.

The effort is an outgrowth of Small Business & Cybersecurity roundtables conducted last year and will include how to avoid phishing expeditions, ransomware attacks and tech support scams.

Among the other takeaways from the roundtables was that small businesses needed information on how to protect mobile devices and help with the kind of questions they should ask vendors about securing their systems.

The commission will create educational materials, including training modules and videos.

Verizon Commmunications’s just-released 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) found that ransomware attacks had doubled since 2017.

“It is now the most prevalent form of malware, and its use has increased significantly over recent years,” Verizon executive director, security professional services Bryan Sartin said. “Businesses are still not investing in appropriate security strategies to combat ransomware, meaning they end up with no option but to pay the ransom. As an industry, we have to help our customers take a more proactive approach to their security. Helping them to understand the threats they face is the first step to putting in place solutions to protect themselves.”

That is just what the FTC is hoping to do.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.