As we have seen on the news, cyber-attacks and cyber-crimes have increased drastically during the pandemic. Businesses are exposed to breaches and attacks that come in many forms. The following are just a few of the common cyber threats and steps that should be taken to protect your business.
One of the more prevalent cyber-crimes involves Ransomware. A Ransomware attack is a form of malware software that encrypts the victim’s files or system and threatens to publish the information and/or blocks access to data or a computer system. The hacker then demands a ransom from the victim in order to restore access and to prevent the leak of sensitive information.
There has also been an abundance of employees working remote during the pandemic and many employees will continue to work remote in some capacity for the foreseeable the future. This has created new vulnerabilities for companies, individuals, and their data from a cyber risk. Business owners need to be sure they are doing everything possible to protect their computer infrastructure, employee data and customer data from any type of cyber-attack or breach. There are many ways to help minimize these risks and some precautions to take.
It is important that all employees working remotely have a separate work computer and do not use it for any personal use. Likewise, employees should not be accessing your network with any personal unauthorized devices. Business should have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) as it is a safeguard when users access the company’s network remotely. They should also ensure all home Wi-Fi networks are password protected and that remote employees and those traveling do not use or access the network on a public Wi-Fi network. This will allow for encryption of data and adds an extra level of protection.
The use of Multifactor Authentication (MFA) has been a growing trend and is requirement from many insurance companies that write Cyber Liability policies. MFA requires an authorized user to provide more than one method of validating their identity. MFA helps to ensure that the person accessing your network, requesting certain information, or giving your employees direction on transactions is really who they purport to be.
Another simple risk management procedure is to make sure your systems are updated on a scheduled basis and that employees should be applying the updates and patches on their computers regularly.
The reliance on technology and the freedom to work remotely increases the risk of a cyber-attacks and breaches. As a business owner you need to do everything possible to protect your business and the data you have. Although these tips may be helpful there are many other things to consider. You should consult with your insurance agent about Cyber and Privacy Liability coverage and what resources may be available to you.