Protect Your Business – 7 Ways To Prevent Cyber Attacks

Protecting your business from cyber risks can be an overwhelming venture. More spam is being delivered to your inbox and yet another well-known company is the victim of a data breach. The world will never be free of cyber risks, but there are many loss control techniques you can implement to help protect your business from exposures.

1. Install a firewall for your network. Operating systems often come with pre-installed firewalls, but they are generally designed to protect just one computer. Examine the firewall’s options and select the best configuration to keep the computer safe. If your business has a network of five or more computers, consider buying a network firewall. They can be pricey but network firewalls provide a fine level of coverage for an entire network.

2. Install anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-spyware software. This loss control technique is the easiest and most effective way to increase security at your business. Make sure to install the software on each computer in your network—computers that don’t include these types of software are much more likely to be exposed and can possibly spread malware to other computers in the network. There are a host of viable options for each type of software, ranging in price from free to an annual subscription. Be sure to keep the software as up-to-date as possible.

3. Encrypt data. No firewall is perfect. If a hacker manages to get through your firewall and into your network, your data could be a sitting duck. Encryption will make the data unreadable to a hacker. Consider using an encryption program to keep computer drives, files and even email messages safe from hackers.

4. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN allows employees to connect to your company’s network remotely. VPNs eliminate the need for a remote-access server, saving companies lots of money in remote server costs. In addition to these savings, VPNs also provide a high level of security by using advanced encryption and authentication protocols that protect sensitive data from unauthorized access. If your company has salespeople in the field or employs workers who work from home or away from the office, a VPN is an effective way to minimize cyber risks.

5. Implement an employee password policy. One of the most overlooked ways to keep your business safe is instituting a password policy. Essentially, a password policy should force employees to change work-related passwords every 90 days. The policy should encourage the creation of easy-to-remember, hard-to-guess passwords that include letters, numbers and special characters. For example, an easy-to-remember, hard-to-guess password could be “M1dwbo1025.” (My first daughter was born on Oct. 25.) Passwords that contain words from the dictionary or contain sensible combinations (abc123, qwerty, etc.) should never be allowed. Let employees know that they should not write passwords down and leave them in a desk or out in the open. If they are having trouble remembering passwords, there are password-keeping programs available for download.

6. Back up data regularly. Important data should be backed up daily and in multiple locations, one being off-site. In addition to being safe from cyber risks, off-site data would not be exposed from physical attacks, like a fire or tornado. Restrict access to backed-up data. The public should never have access to it. If the data is tangible, keep it in locked filing cabinets in a locked room, and only issue keys to those who absolutely need them.

7. Develop a business continuity plan. If the worst should happen and your company suffers a data breach or similar attack, you should have a business continuity plan in place. A business continuity plan helps:

  • Facilitate timely recovery of core business functions
  • Protect the well-being of employees, their families and your customers
  • Minimize loss of revenue/customers
  • Maintain public image and reputation
  • Minimize loss of data
  • Minimize the critical decisions to be made in a time of crisis

The plan should identify potential cyber risks, along with the recovery team at your company assigned to protect personnel and property in the event of an attack. The recovery team should conduct a damage assessment of the attack and guide the company toward resuming operations.

We Are Your Loss Control Expert Keeping your data safe from cyber risks requires constant attention to ensure an attack never happens. Anastasi Insurance Agency, Inc. has the resources and know-how to help you identify potential risks and keep your business running smoothly in the event of an attack.

Cyber Attacks – Why Small Businesses Are Big Targets

58% of cyber attacks aka malware attack victims are categorized as small businesses.

The major reason for this is because small businesses tend to be unprepared, easy targets. Cyber threats target those who are least likely to put in the effort to protect themselves because they think it can’t happen to them.

In 2017, cyber attacks cost small and medium-sized businesses an average of $2,235,000.

What exactly is a cyber attack?

Simply put, a cyber attack is an attack launched from one computer (or multiple) to another computer or network.

Cyber attacks might be broken down into two broad types that each have a specific goal:

  • Attacks where the goal is to disable the target computer or knock it offline.

A few examples of this type of attack:

 Malicious code that renders your website unusable

 Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that make your website inaccessible to employees and customers alike

 Viruses, worms or other code that deletes critical information on a business’ hard drives and other hardware

2. Attacks that are targeting your computers data.


 Your client’s private information such as credit card / payment information

  Your company’s bank information

 Your employees personal information / bank information

There are many ways that a hacker gains access to your information.

  • Malware (malicious software) downloaded to a target computer that can do anything from steal data to encrypt files and demand ransom
  • Phishing emails that are crafted to fool victims into giving up passwords or taking some other harmful action
  • Denial of Service attacks, which overwhelm a web server with bogus traffic
  • Man in the middle attacks, which fool the target computer into joining a compromised network

How can a cyber attack cause a business interruption? Hackers, thieves and other unauthorized individuals have become adept at exploiting weaknesses in a business’ computer system, whether through traditional hacking methods or social engineering. There are several types of attacks that could completely cripple your ability to perform normal business activities.

Contact us at Anastasi Insurance to learn more about how to protect yourself. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s article.