Business activities in the technology industry revolve around the functionality of computers, network connections and the Internet. It is no secret that computer use carries many risks, including damaging viruses, hackers, illegal use of your system to attack others, use of sensitive data to steal identities and other illegal acts. As a result, companies must respond by preventing, detecting and responding to cyber attacks through a well-organized cyber security program.
The first step to protecting your business is to take into account the many cyber risks:
Hackers, attackers and intruders: These people try to exploit software and computer system vulnerabilities for their personal gain. Although their intentions are sometimes benign, their actions usually run counter to the intended use of the systems they use. The results of this cyber risk can range from minimal damage (creating a virus without adverse effects) to malicious activity (stealing or altering data).
Malicious code (viruses, worms, and Trojan horses):
- Viruses: This malicious code requires a user to take steps to let a virus enter the system, such as opening an e-mail attachment, downloading a file, or visit a web page.
- Worms: Once released, it is reproduced and spread by system on its own. They usually start by exploiting a software error; then, when the victim's computer is infected, the worm will try to find and infect other computers through a network.
- Trojan Horses: This disguised code claims to do one thing while actually doing something else. For example, a program that claims to speed up your computer system but actually sends confidential information to a remote intruder.
The convenience of using computers is accompanied by many risks. Businesses must respond by preventing, detecting and responding to cyberattacks through a well-organized cyber security program.
To reduce your cyber risks, it is wise to develop an IT risk management plan in your organization. Risk management solutions use industry standards and best practices to assess hazards from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction of your organization's information system. Consider the following when implementing risk management strategies in your organization:
- Create a formal, documented risk management plan that addresses the scope, roles, responsibilities, compliance criteria, and methodology for performing cyber risk assessments. This plan should include a characterization of all systems used in the organization based on their function, the data stored and processed, and the importance to the organization.
- Review the cyber risk plan annually and update it when there are significant changes to your information systems, the facilities where systems are stored or other conditions that may affect the risk impact on the organization.
In addition, your organization should take precautions when choosing your ISP for business use
Almost all ISPs offer browsing features with varying degrees of user support and web hosting. Your company should decide which ISP to use, along with an email and file backup plan and which firewalls to implement.
To choose an ISP that will reduce your cyber risks, consider the following:
- Security: How concerned is the ISP about security? Does it use encryption and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to protect all the information you submit?
- Services: Does your ISP offer the services you want and do they meet your organization's needs? Is there sufficient support for the services provided?
- Cost: Are ISPs affordable and reasonable for the number of services you receive? Do you sacrifice quality and safety to get a lower price?
- Reliability: Are the services provided by ISP reliable, or are they often unavailable due to maintenance, security issues and a high volume of users? If the ISP knows that their services will be unavailable, does it communicate the information to its customers adequately?
- User Support: Are there any published methods for contacting customer service, and do you get fast and friendly service? Do their availability hours meet your company's needs?
- Speed: How fast is your ISP connection and is it enough for your business needs?
- Recommendations: What have you heard from colleagues in the industry about ISPs? Were they trusted sources? Does your ISP serve your geographic area?
Cyber security is a serious concern for your business. Contact CoverLink Insurance to learn more about our risk management resources and insurance solutions for new exposures to technology.