If you haven’t heard yet, the SC Dept. of Revenue was hacked a couple of weeks ago by an international hacker.  This information was just released today to the public, along with some steps every person affected by this should take.

As a gentleman taking part in the press conference pointed out, these types of hacks take place all the time.  Some times they are successful and some times they aren’t.  As with most crimes, many hacker crimes go unreported or are not newsworthy if they are reported.  I would also add that many companies, especially small businesses, have no idea hackers are even trying to break into their systems.

For South Carolina residents who may have been affected by this, Governor Haley recommends ” everyone who has filed a tax return in South Carolina since 1998 to call 1-866-578-5422 then visit www.protectmyid.com/scdor with the activation code they receive from calling the phone number.”

According to the Governor, the state (you and I) will foot the bill for one year of credit monitoring to everyone who qualifies.  Keep in mind, this is credit monitoring.  Which means you will be notified should something come up on your credit report that is suspicious.  It does NOT mean that signing up for credit monitoring will prevent anything from happening to your credit.  So be very diligent in watching your credit… which should be something you are doing anyway.

As a trusted IT solutions provider I cannot let this pass without taking the opportunity to speak to this from our perspective.  We deal with small businesses all the time who, after taking advantage of our remote monitoring and management programs, find out their systems are coming under constant attack from the outside.  As with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and this is no different.  By working with businesses to deploy policies, procedures and state-of-the-art security software/hardware, we are able to substantially minimize these threats.  24×7 monitoring insures that any time a system has a problem or fails a test threshold, our IT staff is notified immediately to take appropriate action.

If you would like to know more about how Carolina Computer Concepts can protect your business, contact us by phone, email or through our website.  We will be more than happy to speak with you and even provide a network or systems analysis for you at no charge.

As for the phone number the Governor gave out, it is swamped with calls right now and likely will be for several days.  Callers have until January 31, 2013 to sign up for the credit monitoring service so don’t panic.

Let this be a learning experience for us all that as individuals we should be prudent in watching our credit reports.  As for businesses, this should be a chilling wake up call to take action immediately to insure your company isn’t the next breaking news story.

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