4 Cybersecurity Tips For Financial & Insurance Business Owners & Managers

New cybersecurity stories hit the news every day. You’ve surely heard about large companies getting hacked or ‘breached’, passwords stolen, identities compromised and more.

The topic of cybersecurity gets brought up so much, it’s no surprise that it has become a kind of background noise in the financial and insurance business world. Warnings about security protocols, new viruses and ransomware scams are just the tip of the iceberg when you look into what is happening in data and network security.

While the news stories keep coming and businesses continue falling victim, there is at least one thing that remains the same . . . the need for cybersecurity training and awareness is here to stay. If you are in business, you have data that cybercriminals want to steal. Simple as that.

Cybersecurity conversations and solutions don’t have to be daunting though. In fact, there are some quick, common-sense tips you can put into place that will make you and your business a harder target for those looking to do you harm.

Top 4 Cybersecurity Tips For Financial & Insurance Professionals

1. Use Unique and Strong Passwords For All Online Accounts

This tip is one you’ve surely heard many times before but over 85% of all adults reuse their passwords online. On top of that, most people don’t know how to create a truly strong password. Some characteristics of a strong password are:

  • Minimum of 8 characters
  • A mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters
  • At least one number
  • At least one special character (!@#$%^&)
  • No personal details (pet names, family member names, birth dates, address info etc.)

The average adult has over 100 different accounts online (bank accounts, credit cards, social media, email, apps etc.). It’s understandably difficult to create and remember a different password for everything you do though.

What to do about it? Look into a password manager tool for yourself and your staff. A password manager will store and organize all of your unique passwords securely. Here at Andromeda, we recommend LastPass. It has some great features and is a trustworthy password management tool. If you have questions about that, feel free to reach our team.

2. Run A Network Security Audit At Least Once A Year

You can’t address things if you don’t know they are broken. An annual network security audit done by a third party IT support partner will give you visibility into the small cracks hiding in your network security.

This type of audit should check things like open ports on your firewall, password protocols, your backups, your disaster recovery plan, the status of your warranties, your antivirus and spam protocols and more.

You can engage your current IT services provider for this audit or look for a third party vendor to come in and take a fresh look at your setup.

It never hurts to get a new set of eyes on your setup. Andromeda provides these types of assessments to our clients with our professional 35 point network security assessment. If you’d like to speak with our team about this service, give us a call at (815) 836-0030 or send an email.

3. Regularly Test Your Backups and Disaster Recovery Plan

One of the top methods a cybercriminal uses to make money is ransomware. Ransomware is classified as a cyberattack where a criminal gains access to your network (through brute force or stolen employee email/passwords). After accessing the network, the criminal then encrypts all or a portion of your business data and locks you out of it. The only way to recover the data is to pay a ransom (often in the form of bitcoin or other cryptocurrency). If you don’t pay up – they destroy your data.

These types of attacks cause serious damage. Businesses like yours are lose big money due to down time, reputation damage and in some cases, even government fines (in worst cases where evidence that a business intentionally ignored or neglected their data security, victims of ransomware/cybercrime can even face jail time).

Imagine that, you’re the victim of a cyberattack and you have to pay the government fines on top of it all?!

Ransomware and cyberattacks happen, there is almost no way to avoid them 100% of the time. But, with a proper disaster recovery plan including regular data backups (on site, in the cloud and off site) you can quickly and calmly restore your business data and win against cybercrime.

Don’t just accept anyone’s word when it comes to verifying your backups though. You should be sure that whoever is maintaining your backups and disaster recovery is running regular tests and providing you proof of valid backups. You should also run a demo scenario at least twice a year to test how long it would take you to be back up and running in the event of a breach or equipment failure.

4. Employee Cybersecurity Training Is Key To Your Defense

Cyber security is constantly changing and new attack strategies show up regularly. The one thing that shouldn’t change for you though, is your commitment to ongoing employee training.

After all, the #1 threat to your office network security is actually your employees! The staff are the people who will accidentally visit an infected site, click a bad link, download a file with a virus etc. and the only way to help stop those behaviors/accidents is through education and proper training.

A good employee training program will offer ongoing training and support. It may also score and rank your employees/office based on performance etc.

At Andromeda, we offer our clients an employee cyber security training in an online program. This allows employees to go at their own pace and complete training in the office or on the go. This solution provides weekly tech tips, training videos, micro quizzes, individual employee risk scores and more.

Make sure to look into training if your organization isn’t already offering this to employees. This really is a must have solution to protect your office.

These are only 4 tips you can use to improve security at the office. There are many more but if you cover these bases you have a great start.

If you have any questions related to cybersecurity or IT at the office, give our team a call at (815) 836-0030 or send a message to Contact@WeNetwork.com. We are always here to help you!