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Lessons from the Recent Major Computer Hacks

The recent computer crimes that so devastated Sony are by no means isolated incidents. Every industry has been affected, from major department stores, governments, banks, healthcare providers, and credit card companies. Hacking is a very lucrative business, where criminals can earn more in a day than most of us make in a year. Since cybercrime is unlikely to go away anytime soon,  it’s a good idea to find ways to reduce the chances of an attack on your business.

How can we risk manage this threat?

Updating computer systems can be tricky and often exposes data normally kept safe behind firewalls. When components are switched out, oftentimes doors can be left open for outsiders to intrude.

Check your fundamentals. When you must lower your own firewall, make sure you’ve changed the factory provided password to the next firewall. Implement and maintain strict protocols for employees to change any aspect, hardware or software, of their company computers.

Complete Software Updates

Software updates are sent out by companies when they discover vulnerabilities in their software that hackers can exploit. These security patches usually appear in the form of a pop-up, or download prompt.

Although they are seen as an annoyance and or interruption to your employees, make sure they keep their computer software up to date. Having to restart a computer to install new software may seem timely at first, but is much easier to deal with than a massive data breach in your company’s system.

Be Aware of Phishing Scams

You should also train your employees to recognize phishing scams. Do not relay log-in information or passwords in response to an email. If an email seems poorly worded with misspellings, it probably did not originate from a major corporation, and is most likely someone trying to steal important information.

Change Passwords

The recent computer hacking crimes should be reason enough to encourage you to change your passwords regularly. Request all systems users to change their passwords often. Your company can protect its passwords through thorough hashing and encryption. Your company  should also back up all encryption software and password information.

Risks Still Persist

Completing all possible due diligence helps move the criminals to an easier target, but determined hackers can still find ways in. So, how does a risk manager deal with one of the fastest growing liability risks for companies?

First, understand the magnitude of the risk. For each client record exposed through your company website, your company will provide a year of identity theft protection and cyber security. At a reasonable $150 per account, you  may be shocked by at the 1,000,000 customer accounts like the large chains or credit card companies exposed to loss.

These claims are becoming more frequent, and more severe. The only real risk management answer is transferring the risk, and most likely through insurance. What limit is safe?

Depending upon your database from outside your company, customer data, supplier data, bank information, and things you can’t necessarily track like old accounts, these claims can bankrupt companies and destroy reputations if an inadequate response is offered.

Consider that $150 per account. How many will you likely lose in a cyber-attack? Call Tracy-Driscoll today at 860-589-3434 to find the best fitting plan for your business. In the long run, it will be worth the conversation.