What You Can Do to Prevent Cyber Attacks

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    1. Train employees in security principles. Establish basic security practices and policies for employees, such as requiring strong passwords and establish appropriate Internet use guidelines, that detail penalties for violating company cybersecurity policies. Establish rules of behavior describing how to handle and protect customer information and other vital data.

    2. Protect information, computers, and networks from cyber attacks. Keep clean machines: having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Set antivirus software to run a scan after each update. Install other key software updates as soon as they are available.

    3. Provide firewall security for your Internet connection. A firewall is a set of related programs that prevent outsiders from accessing data on a private network. Make sure the operating system’s firewall is enabled or install free firewall software available online. If employees work from home, ensure that their home system(s) are protected by a firewall.

    4. Create a mobile device action plan. Mobile devices can create significant security and management challenges, especially if they hold confidential information or can access the corporate network. Require users to password protect their devices, encrypt their data, and install security apps to prevent criminals from stealing information while the phone is on public networks. Be sure to set reporting procedures for lost or stolen equipment.

    5. Make backup copies of important business data and information. Regularly backup the data on all computers. Critical data includes word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files. Backup data automatically if possible, or at least weekly and store the copies either offsite or in the cloud.

    6. Control physical access to your computers and create user accounts for each employee. Prevent access or use of business computers by unauthorized individuals. Laptops can be particularly easy targets for theft or can be lost, so lock them up when unattended. Make sure a separate user account is created for each employee and require strong passwords. Administrative privileges should only be given to trusted IT staff and key personnel.

    7. Secure your Wi-Fi networks. If you have a Wi-Fi network for your workplace, make sure it is secure, encrypted, and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi network, set up your wireless access point or router so it does not broadcast the network name, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID). Password protect access to the router.

    8. Employ best practices on payment cards. Work with banks or processors to ensure the most trusted and validated tools and anti-fraud services are being used. You may also have additional security obligations pursuant to agreements with your bank or processor. Isolate payment systems from other, less secure programs and don’t use the same computer to process payments and surf the Internet.

    9. Limit employee access to data and information, and limit authority to install software. Do not provide any one employee with access to all data systems. Employees should only be given access to the specific data systems that they need for their jobs, and should not be able to install any software without permission.

    10. Passwords and authentication. Require employees to use unique passwords and change passwords every three months. Consider implementing multifactor authentication that requires additional information beyond a password to gain entry. Check with your vendors that handle sensitive data, especially financial institutions, to see if they offer multifactor authentication for your account.

There are several cyber resources available online. The Department of Homeland Security’s Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community Voluntary Program (C3) provides cybersecurity resources to operators of critical infrastructure for State and Local Governments and provides webinars, publications, and best practices. https://www.us-cert.gov/resources/sltt.

Preferred now offers four new Target Solutions courses on Cyber Awareness. Educating your associates is one of the best ways to prevent a cyber attack. Cyber Awareness improves the awareness of threats to online security and provides best practices for safeguarding data. As always, these courses are available to Preferred members free of charge.

    • Cybersecurity Awareness for Employees: Classifying and Safeguarding Data for Corporate and Personal Use

    • Cybersecurity Awareness for Employees: End User Best Practices

    • Cybersecurity Awareness for Employees: Security Awareness Essentials

    • Cybersecurity Awareness for Employees: Social Engineering

Preferred also offers access to the HR, Cyber & ADA Support Center for all members who place their POL/EPLI or ELL/EPLI coverage with Preferred. The Cyber Support Center includes several resources:

    • Breach Healthcheck: Measurable data breach exposure and protection with instant feedback

    • Privacy and Security templates including a customizable incident response plan (IRP), which can be tailored to meet industry and regulatory requirements

    • Resources for keeping staff up to date on a range of issues related to privacy, data security and compliance

    • Latest news and events regarding data breaches, regulations, cyber threats and protective technologies

For more information on these and other Cyber related resources please contact your Preferred Loss Control Representative.

(www.mycommunityworkplace.org) is available to all Preferred members. The Site is a free online resource that will save members time and money by providing cutting edge resource information and training for their organization.

WEB-BASED TRAINING – Online training modules for managers and supervisors on preventing workplace sexual harassment, preventing workplace discrimination, preventing wrongful termination, promoting ethical behavior, and promoting child safe environments are available 24/7 at no cost to members.

UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION AND EXPERT COMMENTARY – On topics such as best practices, employment practices, child protection, leadership/management skills, cyber awareness. Including exclusive articles written for specialized interest, such as government entities, schools and not-for-profits.

STUDENT PROTECTION ZONE – The new Student Protection enhancement will help entities protect students from bullying, cyberbullying, hazing, harassment, sexual abuse and other risks. The Student Protection Zone is a first-of-its-kind functionality that provides weekly education, expert commentary and state-specific reference information.

KNOWLEDGE VAULT – The Knowledge Vault has thousands of articles covering vital workplace issues (grouped according to topic), self-audit checklists, links to important federal and state government web sites, model handbooks and policies, and loss scenario examples on situations that have caused liability for similar organization.

MY WORKPLACE – This part of the site can be set up to communicate information and policies to those employees of a member who have registered to utilize the My Community Workplace website.

CONTROL PANEL – This feature allows site administrators to adapt the site to meet the needs of their organization, such as adding additional users, change default training settings, uploading their organization’s own employee policies, monitor the training progress of their organization’s registered users and download training reports.

If you would like further details on this valuable resource, please contact Michael Stephens, Senior Loss Control Specialist at email: [email protected] or phone: (321) 832-1658.

Notice: Mycommunityworkplace.org is the product of The McCalmon Group, Inc., which is solely responsible for its content.