Monthly Archives: February 2012

Small Businesses Are Target of Cyber Attacks

by Pam Dwyer

According to the 2011 Data Breach Investigations Report from Verizon and the U.S. Secret Service, “small to medium-sized businesses represent prime attack targets for many hackers, who favor highly automated, repeatable attacks against these more vulnerable targets. They are engaging in small, opportunistic attacks rather than large-scale, difficult attacks and are using relatively unsophisticated methods to successfully penetrate organizations.”

Why are small businesses are increasingly targeted by hackers and cyber-criminals? Because they don’t have the protection many larger companies do. They have limited financial and IT resources, are too busy running their business to focus on data security, and are often unaware of the consequences. These criminals hone in these small businesses with the intent to steal valuable data such as bank account information and even customer, employee and vendor information.

Taking Action

To prepare your small business against hackers and cyber theft, create a layered prevention/protection program that will ensure your company’s long-term financial health and stability. First, educate employees about cyber safety. Then develop action plan, which includes five key professionals – attorney, accountant, insurance agent, banker and IT specialist. Since small businesses are likely to have relationships with all of these advisors, they may just need to add data breach and cyber theft to the conversation within each of these areas.

What Each Advisor Can Offer

  • An attorney can provide information about data breach laws and liability issues
  • An accountant can offer a fraud risk assessment to determine internal and external fraud controls, policies and procedures
  • An insurance agent can suggest risk management practices and data breach insurance coverage
  • A banker can help implement fraud prevention services such as Positive Pay if you issue checks and use dual control and a dedicated PC for online financial transactions
  • An IT professional will help locate vulnerabilities in your system and tell you how to guard against breaches

If you do not take action, your small businesses could be impacted by the lurking potential threat of cybercrime.

To learn more about fraud awareness, go to, ask your Webster Bank Representative about fraud awareness and risk or email Pam Dwyer.

Valentine’s Day Gift Giving Ideas

by Monique Shire

When you think about Valentine’s Day, what comes to mind?  Love?  Romance?  Passion?

Sure, we all enjoy a decadent box of chocolates and a bouquet of roses. But this year, consider a gift that will endure… a gift that will bring enjoyment long after the holiday has passed.

When searching for that perfect gift, keep in mind that women typically appreciate gifts that are personal and represent a feeling of “forever.” Gifts such as a meaningful heirloom, a personal photo, or a beautiful piece of jewelry will last forever and tell a memorable story.  Each of us likely can remember when, where and from whom we received each piece of jewelry we own.  And we’ll create new memories when we pass down these gifts down to other special people in our lives.

So, if it is jewelry you are considering as that “forever gift,” here are a few perfect ideas that convey love, but also allow you to add your own personal touch:

Lockets:  Inside every locket is a secret; a photo or engraving; a memory.  Lockets show their beautiful outside to the world and hold the personal/private part inside.

Charm Bracelets:  A charm bracelet tells your story.  Each charm marks a special event, an experience or place visited, a special person.  Charms can be engraved to tell a chronological story as well.  Engraving the date on anything allows those looking at it in the future to be better able to understand its history.

Pearls: A staple in every women’s  jewelry collection is a classic strand of pearls.  This is a memorable “go to” piece when you feel you have exhausted all other possibilities!

Make this Valentine’s Day gift special by giving a “forever gift” that will be treasured for years.

For more gift ideas contact Monique Shire at 914-241-4500 or visit