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4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches

Cyber-attacks continue to plague organizations nationwide with more than 1,500 breaches reported in 2017. About 55 percent of them targeted businesses, but every industry sector experienced attacks including 24 percent in the healthcare industry, 8 percent in education, 8 percent in financial and about 5 percent in government and military, according to Statista.com.

Breaches can come from:

  • Organized crime
  • Disgruntled employees
  • Competitors
  • Hackers
  • Cyber terrorists
  • Nation states

As cyber defenses evolve, so do cyber-attacks. Developing a secure cyber presence can seem daunting. However, your business can take these steps to help reduce the chance of a breach.

  1. Train your employees in cyber defense

Many cyber-attacks could be prevented with better employee training.

“Your employees are the first and most effective line of defense,” said Dave Schroeder, Director, IT Infrastructure at CopperPoint Insurance Companies.

“Train your team to recognize attacks and enforce IT security policy.”

Training should:

  • Emphasize the importance of data security
  • Illustrate how alert employees are critical in protecting company data
  • Instruct on how to report data incidents
  • Show examples of false warning messages
  • Educate on various forms of phishing and how to avoid being scammed
  1. Require strict password protection

Control access to sensitive data. The first step of access management is to ensure passwords are resistant to hacking.

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recommends companies communicate password expectations. This may include combining up to 64 characters using letters, numbers, special characters and spaces.

The NIST also discourages frequent password changes, because users often simply reuse or rehash old passwords, and they’re more likely to write the new passwords down and store them in an unsafe place.

A step some companies are using to prevent cyber-attacks is two-factor authentication. This method requires two forms of security bypass before a user is granted access to private accounts.

  1. Update technology

Cyber security technologies should be updated regularly. CopperPoint suggests that you use current software and firmware to protect newer operating systems and browsers. Critical updates should also be installed promptly when they become available.

Recent innovations in hardware authentication, cloud technology and artificial intelligence have helped companies that are current on cyber security protocols to gain the upper hand on potential attackers.

  1. Invest in cyber insurance

Unfortunately, companies with the best security can’t prevent every breach. This is why cyber insurance has become one of the fastest growing lines of commercial business insurance.

By investing in cyber insurance, you can:

  • Reduce your risk of financial loss
  • Gain access to incident response assistance
  • Delegate the task of handling public relations
  • Gain access to legal advice and assistance.

CopperPoint Insurance Companies offers commercial business insurance – including cyber coverage – to ensure peace of mind to employers, their employees and customers. To learn more about CopperPoint cyber insurance, visit copperpoint.com.