The economic impact of cyber crimes can be staggering. Last week a report was released, Net Losses – Estimating the Global Cost of Cybercrime, which estimated that online security breaches cost businesses worldwide US$400 billion. These losses are not attributed to the attacks alone, but also to the cleanup effort that is required to both track down and patch the breach. In Italy for example, hacking losses totaled US$875 million, but recovery costs topped US$8.5 billion!
How can your business prevent cyber crime? Here are 5 different ways:
1. Educate your staff
Your staff will be your first line of defense against fraud, so it is important that they are well educated on your IT and security policies. Discuss common threats and how to spot them (i.e. phishing, opening unfamiliar emails, responding to online password requests, etc.).
2. Manage your bill pay
Company credit cards and access to your bank accounts should be limited to select employees only. If you participate in online bill pay, we recommend dedicating a single computer to it – one that is not used for social media, email or cruising the web. Also, be sure that your paper bills and account access numbers are filed away in a locking cabinet.
3. Secure your computers
All of your business computers should be equipped with up to date anti-virus software. As well, you should consider backing up all of your documents on an external hard drive or with a secure online service.
4. Create a password policy
You remember the Heartbleed hubbub? How millions of so-called secure websites were found to be vulnerable to hackers? The biggest issue was, and is, password protection. Many of you out there set a password and then fail to ever change it again, or you use the same password for all of your accounts.
It is in your best interest to institute a password policy that all employees must follow. For example, all passwords must be changed every 90 days, and no password may contain any less than 8 characters.
5. Insure your business with Cyber Liability coverage
Cyber liability coverage can help you prevent losses. It will help you pay for any damages your business may incur as the result of a breach.
7 Ways to Protect your Small Business from Cyber Crime
Economic impact of cyber crime estimated at $445 billion worldwide: report
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