At its core, a cybercrime or attack is a breach of personal security and cyber safety. Hackers will gain access to confidential information, such as customers’ names, addresses, social insurance numbers, dates of births, and credit card information. Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more crucial than ever to ensure your business is safe and protected in the digital world. 

Here are a few tips to help keep your business safe from cybercriminals:

1. Ensure all your software has the latest updates

One of the areas that cyber-crime is prevalent is within small businesses that use unpatched software. To mitigate the risk of a breach and improve your cyber safety, make sure to update your software and initiate system updates regularly or when the notification window pops up.

2. Do not use free anti-virus software/downloads for cyber safety

Free anti-virus solutions often provide minimal protection. As a consumer, you would not want to have business dealings with companies that use basic software. Similarly, as a business owner, you would not want to use free versions to protect your customers’ data. Instead, consider purchasing a virtual private network for your staff to work on, especially if they work remotely. According to CIRA’s 2020 Cybersecurity Report, almost 6 in 10 companies deployed to a virtual private network due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with half deploying to DNS firewalls in response to an increase in cyber threats.

3. Keep your passwords protected

It’s best to create a strong password consisting of long or difficult phrases for someone to guess. Additionally, do not reuse passwords from previous accounts or share passwords with others. The Ponemon report states that 51% of employees and 41% of IT professionals share passwords with their colleagues. While human error (i.e., inputting an incorrect password) is only supposed to account for 39% of cyber attacks, it in fact accounts for 50%.

4. Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

2FA offers additional security for your accounts. Most social platforms, email providers, banks and several other vendors have already adopted this technology. For example, you could select to receive a text message to your cell phone with a pin code that you have to enter before you get access to your account, or answer an additional set of security questions, etc. This additional step may seem to be a hassle, but it’s really a safeguard to help keep your account safe. You can download a two-factor authentication app, such as the Google Authenticator app, directly from your app store.

5. Reduce the use of unprotected or free Wi-Fi

If you use a lot of free Wi-Fi to save time and keep yourself organized, you may become a victim of cyber-crime or security breaches. Additionally, accessing free Wi-Fi from a coffee shop or library can pose additional security risks. Why? Because most free Wi-Fi services do not require a password to access their network, making it easier for cybercriminals to hack into your device. If your business owner uses free Wi-Fi services when you are on-the-go, it’s strongly recommended that you don’t access your clients’ confidential information until you are connected to a more secure network.

Why is cyber safety important for your business?

Protecting your organization from cybercrime is serious business. If you are a victim of a cybercrime, it could cost your business thousands of dollars to get your business up and running. OR in worst-case scenarios, it can put you out of business for good as you won’t be able to recuperate the losses. The good news is, there are a variety of cyber insurance options available for you to be proactive and protect your business before it is too late.

Is your business in need of a cybersecurity policy? Contact us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable isure brokers who will provide you with the best advice and coverage you need when it comes to cyber safety.

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