Sunday, November 8, 2009

Small firms more susceptible to cyber crime

CHICAGO, Nov 8 — A couple years ago a crippling cyber attack on one of Nanette Lepore’s haute couture boutiques served as a wakeup call for the fashion retailer to get serious about its online security.

In 2007, Nanette’s Las Vegas store had its router hacked by a cyber criminal and confidential point-of-sale information was accessed, potentially impacting hundreds of the company’s well-heeled patrons. The sensitive data was then transferred to Italy, where it was used to create phony credit cards that were subsequently distributed in Spain.

After a meeting with FBI and local crime officials, the Caesars Palace store was shut down during crucial Saturday shopping hours, but the company gained a valuable lesson about protecting its data.

“If they can gain access to your network routers, you’re pretty much an open book,” said Jose Cruz, Nanette Lepore’s director of information technology, who has since developed a Fort Knox-like security protocol for the confidential information flowing through the company’s 10 boutiques and its New York headquarters. “The first thing I did was lock it all down.” Reuters

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