June 26, 2017

As companies become more and more digital it is important to make sure that you are taking the steps to keep your network secure. Below are some tips and information to consider:

What is a Data Breach?

A data breach can come in a number of forms, but generally, it’s characterized by a third party gaining access to improperly secured information through theft, the Internet, lost documents or a compromised computer or device.

  • Data breaches have spiked over the last three years; there were 781 reported breaches last year alone.
  • The average cost of a breach is $154 per record stolen, with an average remediation cost of $3.8 million.
  • Human errors account for 52 percent of all data breaches.

What is most at risk?

In addition to protecting your network from malicious attacks, companies are legally bound to protect the customer and employee data, including the following:

  • Names and addresses
  • Social Security numbers
  • Credit card numbers
  • Other financial data

Trade secrets, prospect lists, and proprietary company information are also at risk.

What can employees do?

Smart Email Practices:

  • Never open an attachment from an unknown sender.
  • Flag messages as spam in your inbox—it helps the system identify threats.
  • Don’t open personal email on your work computer.

While Browsing Websites:

  • Only download files from trusted sources.
  • Update your browser whenever prompted.
  • Respect corporate Internet restrictions—they’re in place for everyone’s security.
  • Keep Internet security settings on ‘high’ at all times.

Password Security:

  • Passwords should be changed every three months
  • Strong passwords are at least 8 characters long and contain a mix of upper- and lowercase numbers, as well as special characters.
  • Passwords should never be shared.

Equipment Outside the Workplace:

  • Lost laptops, tablets and smartphones are a common source of security breaches.
  • Watch equipment closely when outside of the office.
  • If equipment is lost or stolen, report the problem immediately.

In the Event of a Breach …

Even the most sophisticated businesses can be breached. If you believe your data has been compromised, it’s important to alert your supervisor and IT department immediately.

  • Have a plan in place to address the problem, and notify affected customers and employees.
  • The faster the problem is recognized, the faster you can find a solution.

For additional information call our cyber security insurance experts, Fred McClaine and Brent Osswald at 317.846.5554