Cybercrime is on the rise in the United States, and entrepreneurs need to pay attention to the most common ways in which these criminals operate. The losses for a company after a cyber attack can be staggering, especially when personal information from customers has been stolen. There are five general types of cybercriminals and several techniques to help companies avoid the risk of hacking:
“Phishing” refers to e-mails sent to employees (or business owners themselves) that appear to come from a legitimate source, such as tax authorities, a supplier, client or other party. In the body of the email, you are prompted to respond quickly, or click on a link. When the link is activated, cybercriminals can access your internal systems, including personal information about your customers or clients. These phishing emails can be obvious, or very sophisticated, seem completely legitimate. It is important that your employees are trained in phishing, as this method is one of the most common ways in which cybercriminals successfully commit hacking.
Hacking is one of the most common ways for cybercriminals to access corporate systems. They can first install malware through a vulnerability in system security. Malware captures keystrokes for passwords, giving access to bank accounts, business and private personal information. If you are unsure whether your computer system is protected from intrusion, a security consultant can evaluate your system and install security features to reduce the chances of a hacker succeeding. Make sure each employee uses strong passwords and implements multi-factor authentication.
Former or dissatisfied employees
An employee who is dissatisfied with a manager, salary, corporate culture or other aspects of the job can be the source of an expensive data breach. To avoid the serious financial losses associated with a cyber intrusion, ensure that all employees ‘credentials are interrupted immediately when an employee leaves the company, update your internal security system to track and log employees’ online actions.
Ransomware has led to disasters in hospitals, resellers and companies worldwide. A specific type of software is installed on the system, usually through phishing or hacking. Once the software is activated, computer data cannot be accessed. The victim, whether it is a company, an agency or another entity, is held hostage until the ransom has been paid. The cybercriminals involved in these acts are usually sophisticated groups abroad. They often require payment in bitcoin, and until redemption is paid, your systems will be unavailable. Some of the basic methods to avoid ransomware are multifactor authentication and a complete security update of your business technology.
Your digital information can be found online, through various legal and illegal methods. Cybercriminals track your actions online and search for information on social media, such as your pet’s name, your date of birth, the name of a parent, a child or other information to discover passwords. Once the passwords have been identified, cybercriminals can break through the system to gain access to personal information, which is sold. To avoid the damage, schedule regular employee seminars on cybersecurity and make sure your system requires multifactor authentication.
Your business insurance and cybercrime
If your business is exposed to a data breach, it’s a disaster. It is imperative that you have the protection that your business insurance provides. Many companies, to protect against risks, add cyber insurance to their business insurance to protect against the extreme financial losses of a data breach. You can talk to one of our local business insurance agents to discuss your options for determining the right types of coverage to protect your business assets.