Cyber attacks and information breaches are part of a new reality for businesses as more and more business is conducted online. That means cyber liability insurance is crucial. Even brick-and-mortar businesses have digital components, such as accounting software, customer relationship management software, and reputation management accounts.
More than ever, it’s crucial that organizations have a robust digital security plan in place to protect digital assets and keep cyber liability insurance low. Here are some top tips every organization should adopt as they manage their risk rating.
Train Your Employees to be Cyber-Aware
Even though nearly everyone in the workforce must use a digital device of some kind to complete their tasks, not everyone has the same level of experience and understanding when it comes to cybersecurity.
Even fewer people realize that intelligent equipment like multifunction printers are connected to the internet and the company network for in-person office settings. As a result, cybersecurity is a significant concern, even with office equipment, increasing your cyber liability score. By training employees to better understand digital security, best practices, and their role in information privacy, you can eliminate the majority of potential breaches many companies experience.
Create Password Policy
Password policies are expected, so while you may get some eye-rolling from rigid employees, most understand that security is an essential safety measure, just like wearing a seat belt when riding in a car. So, create a password policy and enforce it without hesitation.
A quality password will contain a minimum of seven characters with a mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and common characters. It’s also advisable that everyone creates a new password at regular intervals without reusing old passwords. For companies in at-risk industries, changing passwords should occur more often than smaller organizations with less risk of a breach. Regardless of industry, everyone should refresh their passwords yearly, at a minimum.
Remove Outdated Software
Outdated software is one of the most common ways cybercriminals gain access to company systems and sensitive information. Either update the software to have the latest security update installed or remove the software altogether. Even when an organization has the latest cybersecurity software scanning for threats, outdated software is a door for hackers and an unnecessary risk. Cyber liability is unnecessarily bloated when you have outdated software on any device, including company phones, computers, and office equipment. Cyber liability insurance rates go up for every app and employee touchpoint that is outdated.
Enable Multi-factor Authentication
This is a tough one for impatient people because it adds a step to the login process. These days, depending on the industry, many people have to undergo three-factor authentication. Most only need two-factor authentication. Whatever you choose, having people provide their password as well as an additional login step (i.e., personal identification number, challenge questions, etc.) adds a layer of protection that helps to ensure ongoing security.
Put a Back-up Plan in Place
A back-up plan is just great for everything from road trips to home buying to ensuring safety in the event of a natural disaster. Cybersecurity is no different. Many high-risk organizations choose redundancy, meaning they have alternate servers and assets to rely upon in the event of a breach. If cybersecurity is a concern, it’s also worth setting up a backup system that will regularly save all transactions and databases. The frequency will always depend on the threat level you or your managed IT service determines for you. Some companies back up all systems multiple times a day, daily, weekly, or monthly. Putting a plan in place also gives businesses something to show cyber liability insurance companies to prove that you are actively working on security, making you less of a cyber liability.
Have an Endpoint Detection & Response Solutions
Endpoint detection and response (EDR) is continuous real-time monitoring. It means back-ups occur ongoing, and all systems are being monitored according to settings you decide on in advance. Teams can get alerts when a threat occurs with this solution in place rather than picking up the pieces after a breach. Having the capability to respond in real-time to neutralize the threat before it becomes a problem is invaluable.
Cyber liability rates are based on the level of threat they assess in your business and your readiness to be able to deal with a threat or breach. Basic layers of security show that you are working on minimizing the likelihood of a breach. More advanced layers, such as endpoint detection and response software, shows that you are taking every precaution, making your organization a safer investment and easier to insure.
Cyber liability insurance doesn’t have to be a major expense, and any organization can lower their rates by implementing appropriate layers of security for the threat level they face.