By Anita Byer, Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk
It’s time for Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2022! For nearly twenty years, October has been recognized as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. It was created as a collaborative effort between government and private industry to help individuals stay safe and secure online. Unfortunately, its significance seems to increase each year as criminal elements launch increasingly sophisticated attacks to disrupt online systems and access sensitive, confidential and personal information.
This year’s theme—See Yourself in Cyber. It’s meant to demonstrate that cybersecurity is ultimately about people. Instead of promoting weekly themes, this year’s focus is on promoting four key behaviors.
- Recognize and Report Phishing: If a link looks a little off, think before you click. It could be an attempt to get sensitive information or install malware. Learn how to identify and avoid common threats.
- Update Your Software: Always install the latest patches and updates. Consider adjusting your settings to update automatically. The National Cybersecurity Alliance recommends downloading software updates directly from the company that created the software. Hacked or unlicensed software often contains malware and should not be used.
- Use Strong Passwords: To hackers and identity thieves, accounts protected by weak passwords aren’t really protected at all. Weak passwords may provide a sense of security, but they don’t provide much actual security. Passwords should be long, unique and randomly generated. Use password managers to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts.
- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication: MFA is a security process that requires more than one method of authentication from independent sources to verify a user’s identity. In other words, a person cannot access a system or account without first providing two or more authentication factors (credentials) that uniquely identify that person. These credentials can be something you know (password, PIN, security question), something you have (security token/app, verification via text, call or email) and something you are (fingerprint, facial recognition, voice recognition).
While a culture a cyber readiness can significantly enhance cybersecurity, it isn’t foolproof. However, there is insurance specifically designed to protect both individuals and businesses against identity thieves and hackers. For example, identity theft coverage can help individuals cover the cost of clearing their name. Cyber Liability and Security Breach (Cyber Perils) coverage can protect businesses against various cyber threats, including the cost of complying with data breach notice laws.
Please contact us for more information about insurance specifically designed to protect against cyber threats and data security breaches.