On 26 July 2012, one of America’s leading business book publishers CelebrityPress has released a book, Cracking The Success Code full of practical advice on how to be successful in today’s business. The Lithuanian Paulius Petretis is one of its co-authors.

In this book, business experts of the world-wide reputation reveal their secrets of efficient time management and growing of successful business and personal wealth. Such top celebrity as Brian Tracy, a self-improvement, leadership and sales guru, who wrote more than one world’s best-sellers, contributed to the publication of the book. Some of his books, among which are “100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Business Success”, “Million Dollar Habits” and “Maximum Achievement” are translated into the Lithuanian language.
The publishers expect the book, Cracking The Success Code to be one of best sellers.

Information security is important not only to business giants

Paulius Petretis, a certified information security expert, contributed to this book by Information Security Chapter. In the author’s opinion, while it has often been believed that the information security is supposedly important only to large corporations, such is not the case.

“Also small businesses and even individuals have information that forms the basis for advantage over their competitors”, Paulius states. “Even grannies try to keep their recipes a secret not to lose their individual pecularities.” He remembered his recent work with one small construction company for which after several years of successful operation, unexpectedly, the luck has turned as during the public procurement procedures its competitors permanently succeeded in offering lower prices. As expected from the very beginning, the reason for that was the leakage of information. The competitors had prior knowledge of what price to offer. When this security flaw was “patched”, a run of bad luck for the company was over”.

According to expert, it is vital for big businesses using a great deal of sensitive information in their activity to have their own information security specialists or those they hire as consultants, as well as, various techniques and information security systems these specialists design. Small businesses can do much in this field by their own efforts, if to adhere to several principles.

How to keep businesss secrets?

In the book, Paulius Petretis reveals seven information security principles that help to mitigate the risks of getting the critical information into the wrong hands: “First of all, it is necessary to understand what information the company manages is truly important and of interest to its competitors or in case of loss of which, extensive damage will be caused to the company. Not only the company employees, but also its management often have no notion of it. How could you protect critical data if you do not even know what to protect?”

It is obvious that knowing what information is valuable is not enough in many cases. The expert says that it is not uncommon that when visiting clients he finds the folders with confidential documentation left lying about somewhere on chairs. He states that it is essential to establish the internal rules for information protection and always observe them. For example, most of unnecessary paper records are destructed while the electronic documents are neglected. If a paper document is put into a document shredder, then an electronic one should also be irretrievably deleted.

The improper designation of information is also a commonly encountered error. «If a thief breaking into the office sees a note: “Security zone. Authorized person only”, can you guess where he will drop in first?”, an expert asks. “Therefore, the designation should be made understandable only to those whom it is intended for. If you give the name Blue Zone to the room where attractive information is stored, this name will say to the thief no more than, for example, Fox Zone.

According to expert, many information security errors are typical; thus, they can be easily found not only by the information security professionals, but also by … trespassers. The same is true of the password creation. Nowadays, robots not humans decipher the passwords. A robot can sometimes decrypt a conventional eight-symbol password including both upper-case and lower-case letters in less than 16 minutes.

If a password is too complicated and difficult to remember, it is usually written down on a slip of paper. “And what do you think where people keep their passwords? Most commonly – in their wallets, in the second top drawer, under the keyboard or mousemat. Better still – sticking down to the monitor”, the expert says.

He advises not to do that under any circumstances, even if you think that your information seems to be uninteresting to anyone or nobody can access it. That goes for all of us; however, finally, we are distressed about our carelessness. It would be much more reasonable to select for a password quite a long, but meaningful phrase, like an extract from a popular book or a poem, and, in addition, to include a few numbers in it. It is much more difficult to decipher and easier to remember such passwords.

Lithuania could be the Information Security Competence Centre.

Paulius Petretis does not think that the participation of a Lithuanian in the international project of such scale – co-authoring a book with the world-famous experts – is a sensation. “Lithuania has long got rid of a tinge of provinciality. Today, we have a lot of highly-skilled professionals able to participate in such projects. The self-doubt and the lack of persistence are usually the obstacles preventing them from participating in such projects. Sometimes, you just need to seek possibilities and the possibilities emerge!”

Paulius Petretis himself has been working as an information security expert for already 12 years. He is also engaged in conduction of training courses and seminars. Paulius is a certified information security manager and an information system auditor and currently runs a consulting company. When asked what number of information security projects he took part in, he confesses having no idea. “I counted up to 400 and then stopped counting”, he says with a laugh.

The talker says that Lithuania has none the less or even more highly skilled specialists than any other country of the European Union. “Very strict requirements are imposed on these services in Lithuania. Thus, we have to work to the highest standard, at high pressure and at not a high pay. It is my belief that we could certainly be even the World’s Information Security Centre”, Paulius Petretis says with certainty.

Source: Lzinios.lt, 26-07-2012

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