A Serious Threat
You may have noticed an increase in cyber-attacks in various industry sectors these last few years, such as the Insurance and Medical Industries. You may have also noticed the term “Data Protection” and “GDPR” crop up all over the workplace and on social media. With these terms being thrown around constantly it’s easy to forget just how vulnerable our systems are to hackers and just how important it is to protect yourself always.
In the last year, 72% of large organisations have had some kind of cyber-security breach. And new studies say that a cyber-attack is attempted every 2.5 minutes. A KPMG Survey released statistics saying that out of 100 Insurance CEOs, less than 20% believe their organisation is fully prepared for a cyber-attack. As the New Year begins the threat of cybercrime increases, and it’s not just companies that are victims. In America a study at the University of Maryland revealed that a hacker attack occurs every 39 seconds in general.
No matter if it is a business account or a personal account, the data that account holds is valuable to both the account holder and an opportunist hacker. Even with the rising rates of cybercrime there are ways that you can protect your data from fraud and theft.
Simple Ways to Protect Your Data
· Install Multi-Factor Authentication – This means a program or device forces you to use other methods of verification alongside your password to sign in and use the service. This can make you a harder individual to impersonate, or give your business that extra protection it deserves.
· Don’t overshare – Sometimes we are stuck on social media for so long it’s easy to overshare personal information that could be used to impersonate you, or hack into an account, be it for personal or business use. This rule however does not limit itself to social media. Openly sharing information that isn’t required can leave you vulnerable to medical fraud, financial fraud and identity theft (impersonation).
· Wipe out your data (and back it up!) – A very common form cyber-crime attack is ‘ransomware’, where you are blocked from your data and threatened to have it published online unless you pay a fee. Many devices have an option to delete data completely if needed. This way, if you are a victim of a ransomware attack, you are still safe because there is no data to steal. If something is so important that you don’t want to erase, back it up on a separate unrelated device to keep it’s safe.
· Identify Phishing Scams – We all get those ‘too good to be true’ emails at home and at work. You may feel you would never click on one of these poor attempts to scam you, however sometimes in needful times we can overlook the obvious signs and click on a link, or send important details, because we are convinced it is not a scam. If you get an email from an organisation and you are unsure wherever it is a scam or not there are ways you can check. Firstly, type the company address supplied into your browser. If an authentic website appears use the contact phone number and email supplied on the website itself to contact them and enquire if the email you received is authentic or not.
· Stronger Passwords – An overused but honest statement. Weak or predictable passwords can be easy to guess or generate by expert hackers. Personal or Business accounts alike should use passwords that aren’t easily associated to the company/individual, to better protect any data.
Another way to Protect Yourself
Unfortunately, sometimes what you can do to protect yourself is not enough and hackers find a way to your data. Smaller businesses often feel they aren’t ‘big’ enough to be targeted and make small efforts to protect their company, leaving them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. An alarming 43% of cyber-attacks are targeted on small business for this reason. On the flip side, large companies make great efforts to protect themselves, but so much easy to find information is dispersed online, that hacker’s still find a way to hack into their systems.
Many companies have suffered great losses and even bankruptcy in the aftermath of a cyber-attack. However there are options to protect yourself from the worst case scenario. Even if you feel you’ve done enough to protect yourself, for a hacker, it may be far from the fact.
Servca does offer a Cyber Liability Policy, designed to respond to the needs and risk of a company’s technology sector. You can find out more about our Cyber Liability Policy details here or call us on 0207 846 9010 and talk one to one with one of our specialist brokers, who will answer all your questions.