Cybersecurity is an increasingly important part of every business. Cybersecurity is commonly known as a way of protecting networks, devices, and data from unlawful access by criminals. Practicing good cybersecurity habits can help to provide confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information to you and your business. No matter how the internet is used by you or your business, protecting the personal information that is stored either on your computer, smartphone, or tablet, is important.
As cyber threats become more common, the need to be informed is more essential now than it ever has been. Every business should be aware of some of the current cybersecurity vocabulary. The following list are some pertinent cybersecurity definitions.
A data breach is a security incident where confidential and sensitive information is accessed by an unauthorized individual. These breaches are conducted through illegal actions and typically lead to other crimes.
Malware is malicious code that can damage computers used at home or work. Malware can be a program in the form of a virus, a worm, or a Trojan horse. Hackers, intruders, and attackers use these techniques to make money off known software flaws.
Phishing attacks use emails, texts, and malicious websites that appear to be trusted organizations, such as charity organizations or online stores, to obtain user personal information.
Ransomware is a version of malware in which the user may download a virus that prevents them from accessing their device until they pay the attacker’s ransom.
A VPN, also known as a Virtual Private Network, is a private network service that uses encryption to help protect its user’s personal information.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a multi-step process implemented when logging into a computer or device. An example of this would be entering in a password, then being prompted to enter in another form of identification, such as a code, question, or sometimes a fingerprint.
Identity Management is a system that verifies that authorized individuals, and only those authorized individuals, have access to the technology and software needed to complete their specific job duties.
Whether you have a Microsoft, Apple, or Android device, staying up to date with the latest security patches, also referred to as operating system updates, is a must. Timely updates of your electronic devices can go a long way in mitigating cyber risks triggered by unknown vulnerabilities. If you have a device that you use to access company data remotely or in an office, making sure that it is up to date is something that can be done to help secure client information.
Below are some of the various methods used by hackers and thieves to try and steal personal information online. This non exhaustive list illustrates a handful of the tactics used by online criminals.
Identity theft and scams are crimes of opportunity, and even those who never use computers can be victims. There are several ways criminals can access your information, including stealing your wallet, overhearing a phone call, looking through your trash, or picking up a receipt that contains your account number.
Phishing attacks remain one of the most common methods exploited by cybercriminals, with attackers using emails, websites, and phone calls to trick employees into revealing sensitive information. These attacks are often focused on specific individuals or high-level executives within organizations, using personalized and crafted information to increase the chances of success.
Ransomware attacks have become increasingly common, targeting businesses of all sizes and industries. Cyber criminals use various tactics to gain access to a company’s network in order to launch ransomware, which is a form of malware that encrypts critical systems and data and holds it hostage until the criminal is paid.
A corporate account takeover (CATO) is when a cyber thief impersonates the business as a whole and sends transactions to themselves to steal funds from the true business. Criminals can gain access by spreading viruses through emails and malware to complete a CATO attack.
As cloud services become more popular for a variety of business operations, the risks associated with cloud-based vulnerabilities have also increased. Access controls and data encryption that are inadequate can lead to exposure of sensitive data. The importance of secure access controls and multi-factor authentication becomes more critical when using cloud-based services.
Some businesses may rely on a third-party vendor for various services and support. Although these services can be useful, they can also present more risk. It is crucial that the security practices of your third-party providers are established, and strong contractual agreements are in place to ensure data protection.
The following are some basic tips that you can use to stay cyber safe.
A common way for cyber attackers to infiltrate your business is through your employees, which makes requiring training and providing up to date materials for them to review an important part of fighting cyber-attacks. Users should remember to check links, check email addresses, and think twice before providing personal information of any kind.
Many businesses can forget that cyber-attacks can also be physical attacks. For example, an attack can result from a cybercriminal physically inserting a virus through a device such as a USB drive into one of your business computers. Having cameras and controlling the access to your computers and servers is vital to protecting your information.
It is important to regularly check for software updates. Although cyber-attacks are becoming more advanced, so are the defenses that are designed to combat them.
Using passwords that are long, unique, and randomly generated can help to protect your businesses information. Use password managers to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts. A password manager will encrypt passwords securing them for you. Another best practice to help with securing your personal and work accounts is to not use the same password for your social media or third-party accounts as your computer or Okta account. This will help with keeping your logon credentials secure when other third parties have account credentials breached.
You need more than a password to protect your online accounts and enabling MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) makes you significantly less likely to get hacked.
Although these cyber safety tips can help protect you, it won’t matter unless they are consistently utilized and practiced. Help make the internet that much safer by taking cybersecurity awareness and making it a year-round effort.
Declining to have cyber insurance could put your business at risk. Requesting a cyber insurance quote through Cross Insurance is as simple as filling out our form. At Cross Insurance, we work with many insurance carriers– from local companies to national names. If you prefer to call someone to start the quoting process, you can find a list of our offices as well as phone numbers here.
This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.