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Don’t let a misplaced phone start a cyber attack

October 6, 2015

Frank_Buonocore PNGAttacks on corporate computer networks and theft of sensitive customer information are growing at a staggering pace. In 2013, 43% of companies reported a data breach, up 10% in just one year.

With eBay’s 145 million and JP Moran Chase’s 76 million compromised accounts leading the way last year, the Ponemon Institute labeled 2014 the year of “mega breaches.”

The cost of these data breaches is equally impressive…$194 per record in the United States in 2012, according to the Ponemon Institute, up from $188 the year before.

Many assume data breaches are the result of bad actors in foreign countries launching cyber attacks from afar, deliberately targeting high profile companies known to possess a valuable trove of information. While that attack profile is certainly common, the reality is that any company, of any size, is at risk…very often from negligence within.

With smartphones becoming ubiquitous (80% of Americans under 50 own one) and a basic necessity for workflow in most industries, employees now carry the risk of a significant data breach around in their pockets…to the bar, to the

Virus attack concept. Control panel with red light and warning. Conceptual image symbol of computer infection.

gym, on the subway, etc.

Lost and stolen devices are increasingly a top source of data breaches. In the highly targeted health care sector, they are now the leading cause.

Cyber security training can help protect your company from a data breach that puts you on the hook for forensics, legal counsel, credit monitoring for affected customers, and much more. Employee training is crucial, and not just at the point of hiring. Annual refresher courses should be standard procedure.

Our partners at Travelers recommend a number of best practices to help you manage cyber risk. Examples include:

Shared responsibility — All employees need to understand that data protection is the responsibility of all departments, not just IT.

Knowing the signs — Is that security notice a legitimate warning or a phishing scam? When it doubt, check with IT. Never assume.

Punching up passwords — Strong passwords are cryptic but memorable. There are free tools online that can help create appropriate ones.

Checking before you install — Employees should not install software without approval. Besides the threat of a full-fledged data breach, some programs will quietly install adware, spyware, and other malicious software that can wreak havoc on a computer.

At Founders Insurance Agency, we can walk you through the steps of securing the best cyber security policy for your business. Talk to us today about how we can help you protect your digital assets.

Frank Buonocore, Jr. CPCU

Vice President, Founders Insurance Agency

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