10 Ways to Prevent a Cyber Attack
Cyber Attacks can be a real problem for all companies and while Cyber Insurance is available to respond to an attack, companies should still be taking every measure to avoid an incident from happening at all; or at the very least to reduce the severity of an attack.
There are different types of Cyber Attacks:
There are several types of cyber incidents that could target a business, but we’ve outlined four of the most common here:
Phishing & Social Engineering
Fraudulent communication aimed to trick you into sharing private information or downloading viruses.
You may know it as a “virus” – various forms of harmful software that hackers use to wreak havoc on your computer or network
“Denial of Service Attacks” are when a website is maliciously flooded with more visitors than it’s equipped to handle, causing the website to crash.
A form of malware that holds your data captive with the threat to publish or destroy it unless their ransom is paid.
Top 10 Tips to Prevent A Cyber Attack
1. Leverage Proactive Technology
There are hundreds of companies out there who specialise in cyber security – use them to your advantage! These companies offer all sorts of proactive technology for preventing cyber attacks: antivirus and antispyware software, intrusion detection systems (sometimes they happen without you even noticing), intrusion protection systems, spam filters, and multi-factor authentication software to name just a handful.
2. Staff Training
Technology is great, however, all the technology in the world won’t protect you from one of the most common causes of a data breach or cyber incident: human error. Therefore, it is important to continually educate your staff on cyber and data security – preferably with training programs specialised to their actual role. This doesn’t have to be super complex “tech-y” stuff either; simple preventative measures like creating strong passwords, safeguarding private & personal information and questioning the authenticity of emails can make a huge difference.
3. Cyber Security Audits
As your company grows, it is important to make sure your cyber security is keeping pace. Having a Cyber Security Audit is a good way to identify any weaknesses in your security measures to minimise the risk of a cyber incident or data breach. There are good consultants out there who specialise in identifying the holes in your system and procedures, and who will also assist in building out your security measures as your company grows.
4. Protect Important Information to Avoid Data Breaches
You have most likely heard about some of the massive data breaches affecting millions of consumers over the last few years. This has never been more relevant as it is today, and protecting personal & private information is something that all companies – not just multinationals – need to take seriously. Methods for doing this can range from encrypting data when stored or sent online, refusing to collect certain information (i.e. credit cards) and implementing security measures to protect your data from hackers (see our first point above).
5. Vulnerability & Patch Management
How secure is your system? Vulnerability management is a proactive approach to managing network security, while patch management takes care of fixing these holes. It is fairly straightforward to implement one of these processes: check, identify and verify any vulnerabilities, mitigate losses from these vulnerabilities, then finally apply “patches” to fix the problem.
6. Identity Verification
This is without a doubt the most important preventative measure for phishing and social engineering attacks. If you receive an email/call to pay an invoice or update payment information, you should always verify who the person is before actioning their request to make sure it’s not fraudulent – don’t trust the person who is contacting you without verifying they are who they say. For example, find a contact you know in the company and call them directly to verify the request, but do not do this by responding to the email or calling a number included in the email.
7. Third Party Vendors/Supplier Management
You can implement all these tools to protect your information, but how do you make sure the companies you work with are doing the same? It is important to consider how the vendors and suppliers you work with are using, storing and protecting your private and important information or data.
8. Back-Up Your Data
It is absolutely essential to back-up your data and information these days, but there are different ways to do this and some ways are better than others. Arguably the best option is cloud storage, as it can include end-to-end encryption of your data to keep it safe, external back-ups, and a server dedicated to saving data.
9. Physical Security
Your software isn’t the only way for an attacker to access your system and wreak havoc. They can access your system using ID badges, credit cards, private files, mobile devices and computers. Your personnel should be trained to keep these items secure at all times.
10. Policies, Practices and Procedures
Who doesn’t love writing policies and procedures? Although this can be a tedious exercise that many overlook, it really does encompass a lot of the above points and can be invaluable for protecting your company from a cyber event. Most companies should implement some, if not all, of the following: Cyber Crisis Management Plan (you’ve been hacked – now what?), data breach reporting plan (reporting is almost always required/recommended), multifactor authentication for staff, password guidelines, email guidelines, among others.
What Happens if a Cyber Attack Occurs Anyway?
You can take every possible step in preventing a Cyber Attack and one may still occur. This is why it’s important to manage this risk by putting a Cyber Insurance policy in place. Visit our Cyber webpage for details.
Have any questions?
Talk to one of our Cyber Experts today!
We are a specialist insurance brokerage with an emphasis on adding value to our clients by helping them make an informed decision. Our approach combines that of an insurance broker and consultant, where we focus on providing expert advice to our clients while customising their insurance program and risk management solutions.
Since starting in 2013, KBI is constantly growing and becoming a leader in the Australian market. Our primary point of difference is that we don’t try to be all things to all people. We work in niche areas, where we can tailor an offering, advice and broker support to meet the specific area’s needs.
By Tyler Speers
Tyler Speers is an Account Manager at KBI with a focus on Cyber insurance.