Businesses know how to defend against ordinary criminals. Door locks, safes, security cameras and more. Yet defending against cyber criminals is just as important given the risk to today’s businesses. Cyber criminals commit crimes online by targeting computer networks and devices.
While ordinary crime levels may be relatively low, the cyber crime risk is rising each year. Just as you take ordinary precautions to effectively prevent crime at your business, it’s important to take steps to defend your business from online thieves, too.
Here are three ways to reduce your risk of a cyber attack:
1. Safeguard Your Information
Cyber criminals often look for easy targets. For ordinary criminals, this might mean an unlocked door or open window. For cyber criminals, unsecured usernames, passwords and PINs allow easy access to your network or device, which can leave your business open to a damaging security breach, identity theft or financial crime.
If you fail to safeguard your vital information and passwords, it’s like leaving the shop door unlocked at the end of the night. Protect your information from falling into the wrong hands:
- Protect against deceptive imposter scams: Never give out sensitive information to unknown persons over the phone. Vendors should never call to ask you for your password or PIN, even if there is a problem with your account.
- Report suspicious texts and emails: Cyber criminals may attempt to impersonate managers, employees, suppliers, vendors or even customers. Check the address or phone number, contact the party directly and report fraudulent messages to IT security.
2. Follow Best Practices
Just as law enforcement monitors the patterns of offline crime, cyber crime experts track the patterns of online cyber criminals. Both groups work to ensure the safety and frequently publicize the best practices to follow to avoid becoming a victim of crime.
Here are some current best practices regarding cyber crime prevention:
- Use layered protection: A password is one layer for defending against cyber criminals, but there are others. Multi-factor authentication is the latest method for reducing password hacking. With multi-factor authentication, a website or app that doesn’t recognize your device or IP will text or email you a one-time code to verify your identity. A thief who only has your password won’t be able to access your account thanks to the added layer of protection.
- Monitor your activity: Many financial institutions now offer fraud alerts, while other online portals offer regular security monitoring. Take advantage of these benefits and monitor your accounts for any unusual activities. If you do discover unauthorized transactions, report them immediately.
- Stay alert for phishing attacks: Phishing attacks by phone, text message or email can happen any time, but the volume spikes during holidays. Ensure messages are from a recognized contact and note that fraudsters sometimes use addresses very similar to the correct address. If you don’t recognize a number or email address, don’t open the message or click on any links and notify your contact directly.
3. Protect Your Business
The activities of cyber criminals can often go unnoticed until the damage is severe. Protect your business by safeguarding your information, following proper security practices and ensuring you have the right cyber liability coverage.
Without liability protection, your business could experience lost data, decreased sales and reputational damages, as well as claims from customers or regulatory fines. With the increasing costs of a cyber attack, it’s more important than ever to ensure you have the cyber liability coverage your business needs.
CyberLock Defense Insurance is a one-of-a kind cyber liability policy that offers comprehensive coverage at rates more affordable and more accessible than other cyber liability policies available. Coverage can help cover costs related to cyber attacks and defending against cyber criminals, including privacy breach notification expenses, litigation, loss of income and regulatory fines and penalties.