BATAVIA — How do you keep your business from being hacked? An Ellicott Street business owner says he has some advice.
Paul Marchese, president of Marchese Computer Products, Inc., wrote “Business Owner’s Guide to Cyber Security,” a 100-page book which covers topics from “Why YOU Are Cybercriminals’ -1 Target” to “Staying Secure While Working From Home.” There is a chapter addressing technical terms in plain English and a quiz to take to find out whether your current IT company is doing its job.
“I wrote this book to share my years of knowledge and expertise to help people gain an understanding of what cyber security means and how to protect yourself and your business from the cyber ‘bad guys’ of the world,” said Marchese. “We use examples of some clients we took over (IT services for) because their IT company fell asleep at the wheel, didn’t have them properly backed up and they got attacked.”
Marchese said the book came in at the middle/end of October. October was National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
“If anybody wanted a good book to read, on cyber security, stop down to the shop. I actually had a person ... come in here and say ‘I want one of those books. I was actually very happy that there was an individual that was concerned about cyber security,” he said.
Today, we see so much fake and malicious content appearing on websites, email, in text messages, etc., Marchese said.
“The hackers of the world today are criminal enterprises. They’re not the 14-year-old in the basement anymore. These are legitimate criminal enterprises that are designed to prey on the human frailty and the human interaction with computers,” he said. “Unfortunately today, you can be infected without clicking on anything — just by going to the wrong site. You have to watch and see where things are going before you click on them.”
“Some of the more insidious scams today are those that are actually doing phone calling to people to gain access to their bank accounts, computers,” he said. “When I do my trainings with the companies. The first thing I tell employees is. ‘If you’re home or here (at work), companies like Apple or Spectrum, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft will never, ever call you.’ The IRS is the same way. The IRS won’t be calling you. None of those calls are real.”
Marchese said the minimum recommendation is 10 to 12 characters for a password.
“We talk about passwords in the book — how to create a password that will be secure for years. Those things have changed radically as well. Years ago, a seven- or eight-character password was perfectly fine. Today, that’s not the case,” the author said. ”All the way down, 10 characters, a hacker can hack in almost instantly. We recommend a minimum of 10 characters, upper and lowercase, number and symbol or multiple symbols.”
If someone’s password includes at least 10 characters like the ones Marchese described, it will take a hacker five years to hack that person.
“This book took about a year to put together and write, coordinating with the editors. It was a lot more complex than I thought,” Marchese said. “You have to think about who you’re writing it for. I’ve been doing this (technology consulting and cyber security) for 40 years. I just wanted to impart that knowledge so people have it as a tool in their tool belt. It’s not like a novel. I boil it down to the necessary things you need to know today.”
“Business Owner’s Guide to Cyber Security,” costs $19.95 per book, but if someone wants a quantity of books, Marchese said he will get the buyer a better price. To order the book online with free shipping, go to www.mcpinc.com or call (585) 343-2713.
“I’ve got an initial printing of maybe a couple of hundred copies,” he said. “When and if I need more, I’ll order more.”