On May 6, 2019, the city of Washington, Pennsylvania, suffered a malware attack that shut down its phone and messaging system for more than a week. The only exception is the 911 system, which operates throughout the county and continues to be available to residents of the city.

This type of ransomware attack can occur at any time with businesses and organizations of all sizes. That’s why companies need to learn how to protect their information (and that of their customers) safe.

Businesses are on hacker’s radar every day. However, many are victims of cyber attacks for convenience. It is not enough to install an anti-malware program on your computer and refuse to store passwords, credit card numbers, and personal information. Nobody is safe and no business is completely safe.

The need for Cybersecurity has been increasing exponentially over the past few years due to our connected environment. Smartphones, self-driving cars, “connected” houses and appliances, online shopping and banking are exposing us to many more access points for cybercriminals to exploit. While at the same time, we are lagging behind in cybersecurity.

So what can businesses now do in the cyber era in order to protect their and their customer’s information? According to Exchange Underwriters, a subsidiary of Community Bank and a full-service independent insurance agency located at 2111 N. Franklin Rd. in Washington, Pa., there are many things.

What can companies do in cyberspace to protect their information and that of their customers?

1. Change your passwords frequently and do not use old ones anymore.

Changing your passwords often seems like a daunting task, but it’s worth it. Using and creating “strong” passwords makes it harder to hack your information.

Password management applications such as Dashlane or 1Password facilitate this task. These applications automatically generate passwords that are hard to hack, giving users a single password that they can remember.

 2. Credit monitoring.

Using a credit monitoring or identity protection company such as LifeLock or Experian may notify users in the event of a data breach. In the event of a breach, you can protect your assets easily and at no cost by contacting the three main credit reporting agencies and requesting the “freezing” of your credit reports. In this way, criminals cannot abuse your funds and you can “unlock” your account if needed for a bulk purchase.

Because most of the stolen data involve cheating on people, it can be very helpful to be vigilant and alert online. Humans are the weakest link, but it can be the strongest defense.

3. Partner with an insurance agency you can trust.

Exchange Underwriters and Community Bank support discussion and education on cybersecurity through direct interaction with the client. The duo partnered with Fifth Wall, a local company that provides basic cyber risk insurance to Community Bank / Exchange Underwriter business customers. This policy does not require an application and is limited to $ 250,000. The best part is that it costs $ 250 a year.

4. Equip your employees with cybersecurity training.

In addition to the above policy, train your employees. This is critical to businesses because one of the root causes of security breaches is human errors (phishing emails that appear legitimate).

By providing your staff with the best tools and cybersecurity best practices, you can ensure your business is better protected.

Remember that any company (regardless of its size) that operates a website can go online or store personally identifiable information about its customers, customers, and employees, such as birth dates, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and bank details, can benefit from cyber security.

If you think your business needs an in-depth analysis of IT security, please visit thethreatreport.com or get in touch with us, and we’ll help you with a much-needed audit of your IT infrastructure.

Related Resource:

How to Protect Your Website From a Cyber Attack

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