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Conference Offers Small Businesses Opportunity for Technology Upgrade on Data Security and More

Mega companies have handled data breaches, reflecting a state of insecurity that may leave small- and medium-sized firms wondering how to protect their data.

Company owners can abate their concerns at the ninth annual Duquesne University PA Business Technology Conference on Thursday, Nov. 13, Using Technology to Increase Profits and Remain Competitive. The conference breaks technology into its components, providing business owners opportunities to learn new skills, be introduced to new software and see how the latest tech trends can work for them.

The all-day conference in Duquesne's Union will feature a total of 13 sessions, plus a technology demonstration and trade show. At the breakfast Technology Think Tank, Jay Markey, president and owner of Green Seven Technologies, an information technology service company based in Washington and Mercer counties, will speak on How Close Are You to a Disaster? Keeping Your Data Safe.

Markey warns that no company is too small for a data threat.

"Small businesses are actually more susceptible because they often don't think they have the type of information hackers want, so they don't protect their data well," Markey said. "But they have information that is attractive to criminals. Typically, hackers go after small businesses, because they are the 'low-hanging fruit.'"

To keep data intact, Markey advises business owners to:

  • Be vigilant about usernames and passwords, using different passwords for different systems and changing passwords frequently.
  • Keep anti-virus protection and software updates current.
  • Backup data off-site.

"The statistics are overwhelming that 70 percent of organizations that experience a major data loss will be out of business within a year," Markey said. "Imagine not only losing your data but also client data. Safe data is an ongoing function that requires constant updates."

While most small businesses cannot justify the cost of an in-house information technology employee, Markey advised owners to learn what can be expected from a consultant/provider.

For more information about the PA Business Technology Conference, contact 412.396.1633, or visit online at www.duq.edu/TechPower. Cost of the conference is $119, $50 for students with IDs or for those interested in only the keynote lunch with Anind Dey, director of the Human Computer Interaction Institute of Carnegie Mellon University.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.