Are your company and employees properly protected from cyber criminals?

If your answer is “no,” “maybe,” or “I’m not sure,” I strongly recommend you take the steps needed to change the answer to “yes.”

Cyber-related liability claims are the fastest-growing segment of losses in business insurance. According to one report, Ransomware demands increased 40 times between 2016 and 2019.

The problem has become serious enough that many cyber-liability companies are requiring businesses to maintain more secure systems and have greater measures in place to protect against cyber loses.

Not sure where to begin to protect your company? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Train your staff how to recognize so-called phishing emails, which are designed to trick you into providing passwords or other access to your network and electronic files.
  2. Use two-factor authentication to make it harder for hackers to gain access to your network and files. With two-factor authentication, a password alone isn’t enough for access to your network or to your email and other accounts. You need a second form of authentication. A code sent to your mobile phone, for example.
  3. Perform frequent offline backups – that is, back your files up to a location that can’t be accessed directly from your computer or network. That way you have backup files if your main files are corrupted – and the backups aren’t accessible to hackers who have gained access to your computer or network.
  4. Use anti-virus and anti-malware software and keep current with updates from your vendor. It’s also a good idea to keep other software up to date. Many updates are made to close security vulnerabilities.
  5. If other people have access to your computer when you’re not using it, consider locking it so a password is needed for access. And don’t share the password. Open sharing of passwords is the same as not having a password.
  6. Some companies isolate sensitive data by putting it on computers not directly attached to the Internet. But if employees can access the data from computers that are connected to the Internet, the sensitive data intended to be offline is connected to the Internet, too.
  7. It’s a good idea to approach all emails with suspicion. No matter how innocent a message looks, NEVER provide account numbers, agree to password changes, or provide other sensitive information when the request for such information comes unsolicited by you. Just because an email says it’s from a friend or a trusted company, doesn’t mean it is. It’s easy to “spoof” email addresses.
  8. A “friend” request from someone who’s already you friend? Verify its authenticity or delete it. Their account may have been hacked by a cyber criminal looking for access to your information. Delete friend requests from strangers, too.
  9. Don’t attach outside devices to your network. They could be infected and, in turn, infect your network. Many of us have one or more USB “thumb” drives. So, if you find one in a parking lot, is it your lucky day? Maybe. Maybe not. Phishers have been known to “seed” public areas with seemingly lost USB drives that, in fact, contain malware that can infect your computer and network once you plug them in to your computer.

The bottom line is that cyber attacks have become much more frequent. And they have become more sophisticated. Even IT experts have trouble spotting some of them.  Even with the most secure systems and procedures, businesses and individuals can fall victim to a cyber hack.  In today’s world it is imperative to have a cyber insurance policy in place for both your business and personal life.

Not sure what to do to protect your company? Give me a call at (303) 452-6662 and let’s discuss.