October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, which is an effort to raise awareness of the importance of cyber security. While the event is designed to highlight some of the nation’s cyber security precautions, much of the focus is on good cyber security practices for the average individual.

Tips for Employers

It’s crucial for businesses like yours to stay cyber-secure in order to safeguard company data, protect customers’ personal information, and ensure employee privacy. Here’s how you can do your part to foster organizational cybersecurity.

  • Establish policies to promote cybersecurity. This includes a bring your own device policy, email and internet communication policy, acceptable use policy, remote work policy, and incident response policy.
  • Educate your employees. Utilize a training program to make employees aware of cybersecurity threats and how to avoid them.
  • Implement smart software. Install strong spam filters, firewalls, and anti-virus and malware programs on all company devices. in addition, maintain network security by using a virtual private network.
  • Enforce access controls. Only allow trusted and qualified individuals access to sensitive data. Further, ensure all employees use strong passwords and update them on a routine basis.
  • Bolster business continuity. Be sure to back up data frequently. Consider storing copies of critical data in additional secure locations, such as the cloud.
  • Have a plan. Establish a cyber incident response plan to minimize potential losses in the event of a cyber attack. Test this plan regularly.

Tips for Employees

Cyber safety isn’t just a job for your IT department or contractor. Cyber attacks and data breaches have become far more common and far more costly in recent years. In order to encourage your employees to practice good cyber security, review the following lessons with them:

  • Don’t go phishing—Phishing emails are often sent from an address that looks like it can be trusted or like it is from within your own company. Do not open any attachments or click any links within an email unless you are certain the sender can be trusted.
  • Use strong passwords—Use a variety of passwords that have a mix of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Change your passwords periodically and don’t leave them written down for others to find.
  • Follow software guidelines—Do not install unauthorized software on your company devices, and make sure to keep authorized software updated.
  • Keep your devices safe—Not all data breaches happen over the internet. Company data can also be compromised if you misplace your device or if an unauthorized person is allowed to enter your office.
  • Be careful with connections—Beware of public Wi-Fi networks. Use password-protected connections and double-check the spelling of the network to avoid slightly misspelled fakes. Use your company’s VPN when possible.

Those wishing to participate in this year’s activities can find a number of resources available online, or contact us at Neckerman Insurance Services for further cyber security materials.

© 2020 Zywave, Inc.