Technology and Business Development seminar includes security tool training. Bristol Press, 5-16-14

June 10, 2014

Businesses need to know how to use security tools

Friday, May 16, 2014 10:00 PM EDT


NEW BRITAIN — Three experts on e-commerce fraud had stern advice for small business owners Tuesday during a seminar at Central Connecticut State University’s Institute of Technology and Business Development — know how to use security tools.

Dr. David Fearon, management and organization department, CCSU’s School of Business, moderated a panel of three: Christopher Afre, vice president, information security officer, Farmington Bank; Briana Neumiller, special agent, New Haven Federal Bureau of Investigation and Michael Nicastro, senior vice president, sales and chief marketing officer, COCC of Avon. The seminar was sponsored by Farmington Bank.

Neumiller said the FBI recently completed a nine-year case in which email thieves in Romania were extradited to the U.S. She warned that once a company deals globally it’s understandably more difficult to control email theft.

“Companies try to balance convenience over security, but there are risks involved,” she said. “If you don’t know how to use security tools, you’ll create a false security.” Neumiller said management should also consider their employees’ home computer and how secure it might be. She referred businesspeople to the website, the Internet crime complaint center that deals with fraud victims.

Nicastro stressed that banks need to be consultative when dealing with small-to-medium-sized companies.

“Banks will tell you they want to grow your business and they do,” he said. “They want to help you with cash management or put a remote deposit capture device in your facility so you’ll never again have to walk into a bank with checks. But, they need to teach you how to use security tools. That will be critical when selling those services.” He also cautioned: “Don’t make your password only four characters; the longer you make it the more complex it becomes for someone to get at you.” Afre said businesses large and small are buying cyber insurance. But, insurance carriers want to make sure you have the right controls in place and are operating correctly. “If you haven’t done your homework, they’re saying, ‘Sorry.’” He added that the only way to eliminate risk with online banking is to unplug your Internet and turn off your phone. “But, that won’t grow your business. When your bank starts talking about controls make sure you understand them. Take the time to prevent future headaches.” Tim Stewart, president of the Greater New Britain-Berlin Chamber of Commerce, asked how he and Chamber members could protect themselves from phishing.

“Know the policies of the banks you deal with,” Neumiller told him. “Most banks will never email you, asking for your password. They already know it. If you get a phone call or text message, don’t call the number they give you. Go to your bank’s website and find the bank’s official number.” Patricia Cote of Hitchcock Printing, Paul D’Addabbo, Insurance Associates and Bill Carroll, City of New Britain, business development director, were raffle winners. Each received a $50 gift card.

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Scott Whipple can be reached at (860) 225-4601, ext. 319