This post was originally written for one of our incredible broker partners, Orr Insurance Brokers.
Cyber Security Awareness
What is a cyber attack? In computers and computer networks including cell phones, a cyber attack is any attempt to expose, alter, disable, destroy, steal or gain unauthorized access to private information for the purpose of vandalism or monetary gain.
Consider everything you do in a regular day. Do you use a cellphone or laptop? Do you run a business that collects personal information (ie; credit card, phone numbers, and emails)? Do you run a farm or business where technology plays a major role? If the answer to any of these questions is yes then you should be thinking about cyber security. October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and is a great time to look at what protections you have in place to cover yourself and your business from the many different cyber attacks that can occur. These can take many different forms such as viruses, phishing attempts and ransomware.
Any individual person or business can be targeted and impacted by a cyber attack which can have major consequences for the company and customers affected. There are many small steps that an individual person can take to protect themselves from a cyber attack, such as improving their password security which will help to reduce your risk exposure.
Here are some tips from Duo Security to improve your passwords:
- Have a minimum of 16 characters (include upper cases, special characters & numbers)
- Do not use personal information
- Use a phrase to make your passwords more secure and easier to remember (ie; JimMadeA6ftTallSnowman!)
Cyber attacks can take many forms including important data being stolen, being locked out of computer systems and identity theft. Cyber safety is very important and neglecting it can be very costly to a company and therefore detrimental to the future of the business. Apart from the monetary cost, a business’s reputation can become tarnished if customer’s personal data has been compromised.
The most common types of attacks are:
- Phishing – cyber attack where the hacker tries to lure the user posing as a legitimate company or individual into providing sensitive information such as banking and credit card details, passwords and more.
- Ransomware – this form of cyber attack uses malicious software to deny the users access to a computer or data until the ransom is paid.
Cyber insurance can help you recover expenses and provide liability coverage in case of a security breach. Having the proper protections in place can help you respond to concerned customers or vendors while you resolve the issue quickly. Cyber insurance can help protect your business, but it should never be your only line of defense. To reduce your risk exposure; companies need to be vigilant on how they store customer information, how they protect their systems from potential attacks and most importantly keep staff informed on the latest attacks and how to avoid them. Speak to an Orr Insurance & Investment Broker today for more information on how they can help you protect your business from a cyber breach.
Here are some other cyber safety tips to keep in mind:
- Keep an eye out for anything unusual
- Rule of Thumb for emails: If you don’t expect it, don’t open it!
- Back up your data and keep software up to date
Cyber threats are constantly changing, which means that our cyber security practices have to as well. Being informed of potential risks and learning about how to protect yourself can help you stay ahead of these threats. To learn more about cyber attacks and how you can protect yourself and your business visit our cyber coverage page.