Are you protected from cyber security threats?
Since 2004, October has been recognized as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the National Cyber Security Alliance collaborate each year to educate Americans on the importance of cybersecurity and provide resources to help everyone stay safe online.
Cybersecurity is an important topic not only for businesses, but households as well. According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency there are 5.2 billion internet users worldwide, which translates to 5.2 billion opportunities for cyber criminals to take advantage. Since the start of COVID-19 there has been a 300% increase in reported cybercrimes; of the reported cybercrime, 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses and 95% of all cybersecurity breaches are human error. These numbers are significant!
Not only does cybercrime affect small businesses, but it affects individuals as well. Below are examples of common cybersecurity threats:
- Malware: software used to damage, disable, or give unauthorized access to a computer. Examples: ransomware, adware, botnets, spyware, viruses, or worms
- Ransomware: malware designed to make data or hardware inaccessible to the victim until a ransom is paid. Example: often downloaded through malicious email links, there is no guarantee that data is given back even after payment
- Bots: bots are a type of program used for automating tasks on the internet. Examples: malicious bots can gather passwords as you type them, obtain financial information, email spam from your account, and open back doors into your computer for future use
- Social Engineering: cybercriminals can take advantage of you by using information available through social media platforms, location sharing, and in-person conversations. Examples: swatting, phishing, inside jobs
- Phishing: fake messages from seemingly trusted sources designed to convince you to reveal information, click a link, commit to a financial transaction, or give unauthorized access to your system. Example: phishing usually comes through as emails, text message, phone calls, social media messages, or hyperlinks
There are numerous ways cybercriminals are attempting to access information, and this is just a short list; there are several other types of cybercrimes affecting people each year. We would venture to guess that most people have experienced at least one of these threats, if not more. Have you?
So, what can you do to protect yourself?
- Secure your Networks – wireless routers are easy ways to access your devices. Purchase a router with built in security features and use a difficult password to access your wireless internet
- Stay up to date – keep your security software up to date with the latest version and regularly run scans
- Double your Login Protection – if you can enable multi-factor authentication on an account or device, do it
- Passwords – try not to use the same password for your accounts. When creating a password try to use a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols
- Educate Employees and Family – make sure everyone knows to be aware of ways cybercriminals could target them and how to have safe cyber habits
- Get Cyber Liability Insurance!
Cyber Liability Insurance is a key to small businesses protecting themselves. Cyber liability insurance provides coverage for certain losses incurred as a result of a data breach or cyber-attack. Cyber liability insurance can help cover costs associated with:
- Notifying customers of a data breach as required by law
- Losses from the interruption or suspension of business operations
- Restoring data from backups or originals
- Litigation if a business is sued
- Extortion or ransom demands
- Purchasing new equipment that has been comprised or destroyed
As cybersecurity threats become a more common occurrence, many homeowner’s insurance policies are providing certain levels of coverage for cybercrimes against a homeowner. This will allow individuals to obtain a similar type of coverage as businesses do.
It is estimated that by 2022 the cost of cybercrime will reach more than $6 trillion. Don’t be a part of this number.
The best step you can take is to contact your Colorado Insurance Benefits agent to discuss your options. Cyber Liability insurance can be tailored to fit the needs of any business. Do what you can now to protect yourself, your clients, and your family from the ever-growing threat of cybercrime.