Augusta Business Daily

Thu, September 28, 2023

Cybersecurity expert discusses ways to prevent data breaches

In 2016, Uber experienced a major data breach, when hackers accessed sensitive information on millions of the company’s customers and drivers. But regardless of size, every business is vulnerable to these attacks, according to Patrick Reynolds.

Reynolds, President, and CEO of Cross Link Consulting, a local IT and cybersecurity services firm, spoke to a large group of local business leaders at ABD’s Business Recharge event yesterday at the Kroc Center. He said no amount of money or knowledge can protect a company’s data.

“Budget size doesn’t equal breach avoidance,” Reynolds said. “Cyber expertise doesn’t equal breach avoidance.”

That means when it comes to cyberattacks, a mom-and-pop restaurant is just as vulnerable as Walmart. He said it’s important to understand who’s responsible for protecting a company’s data.

“Cybersecurity is not your IT guy’s responsibility; it’s yours,” Reynolds said.

But there are several ways IT professionals can help to prevent data breaches, such as ensuring that all company devices are patched, and Microsoft 365 is secure.

He said companies like Cross Link can perform internal assessments to determine a business’s vulnerability to cyberattacks.

“We’re not trying to make your IT guy look bad,” Reynolds said.

Employee email accounts are especially vulnerable to hackers, but that can often be prevented by creating stronger passwords. Websites like help users create passwords that are harder for hackers to guess.

Like Reynolds, Comcast Business’s Director of Sales and Business Services, Jeremy Gill said the company can provide advanced security for businesses.

“If you’re not protected, you’ll probably get hit one way or the other,” Gill said.

He also discussed the company’s other products, including a Voice-over IP phone system. Comcast Business also has 24/7 support available.

“Pretty much anything you need for your businesses, we can do,” Gill said.

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