7 Tips for Keeping Your Company Safe From Cyber Attacks

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Cyber security threats have already been on the rise over the past few years, and now with so many working at home using their own personal internet, cyber attacks have skyrocketed. Unfortunately, Alabama was ranked 15th in the country for identity theft in 2019 based on this report by the Insurance Information Institute. The same report showed that 700-1200 data breaches occur each year costing each company $1.9M to a whopping $65M to recover. If you or your business maintain electronic records, communicate in any way electronically, or accept electronic payments, then you have an exposure. Our intention is not to scare you, but to make sure you’re informed and that your business is secure, so here are 7 ways to help prevent cyber attacks and security breaches:


  • Continue to educate your staff on phishing attacks


Phishing scams have become more and more clever, making you believe the email, call, or other communication is coming from a credible and real source. These scammers often come away with personal information, including credit card info and/or passwords, by tricking people into proving them.

Whenever there’s a new or popular phishing scam, make sure to inform your employees and staff so that they know what to look for and what to avoid. To get started on educating yourself and your company, visit phishing.org. This secure site lays out common phishing scams, examples, and prevention. 


  • Only use (and trust) secure sites


This can go along with phishing, since many scams now include the creation of a fake or duplicated website that steals whatever information you provide. Make sure the websites you visit say “secure” or have a padlock symbol next to the URL. Also, look for “https” to let you know the site is legitimate, while “http” is a good indication that it’s not safe. Don’t ever input important information in a website unless you are certain it’s the real website and that it is secure. 


  • Update Your WiFi encryption 


Your WiFi connection should use modern encryption- like WPA2, security programs certified by the WiFi Alliance. The administrator password for your router should never be the default password assigned by the manufacturer because they can be publicly accessed via the internet. Choose a strong password with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters or generate a random password with a password manager.


  • Start using a multi-factor authentication process


A MFA is essentially a security measure that requires the user to authenticate themselves by using more than one device for access. Like requiring a code (after inputting your password) sent to your previously-registered device (often a text message sent to your phone) to confirm that you are the real you. This means that a criminal would have to have your password AND the designated device in order to steal information or cause problems. 


  • Use a password manager 


This is probably the best place to start in ensuring your company’s safety online. A password manager will securely store your complex passwords in one location. This prevents you or an employee from creating an easy-to-remember password or using the same one for everything, no matter the site. This is a good article by the Safety Detectives on which password managers could be best for your company- The 5 Best Password Managers for Business in 2020.


  • Ensure antivirus software is up to date


Keeping your antivirus software updated ensures that it’s ready and able to detect even the most malicious activity. Make sure that you and your employees personal computers have up-to-date protection as well if they’re using their own devices while working from home. 


  • Get Cyber Liability Insurance


Even with all the best encryptions, passwords, and safety measures in place, you have to remember that things may still happen. Hackers can be relentless and scammers keep devising more and more clever ways to trick us. Cyber Liability Insurance can financially protect your company in the event of a data breach and other cyber security issues. 

It may surprise you how affordable cyber insurance is for your company. Increased competition by major insurers has made coverage widely available. Each policy may contain important coverage considerations, so it’s important to carefully review each policy detail and be sure it matches your needs. Go ahead and apply for Cyber Liability Insurance through Shields Insurance! It’s just one of the many commercial insurance policies we can provide to companies in the Birmingham, AL area. 

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