Across the country, businesses rely on computer systems in their daily operations. From point-of-sale devices to complex inventory control and communication infrastructure, manufacturing processes, and customer engagement, computer systems are critical components of the modern business picture. In recognition of National Computer Security Day, celebrated November 30, there are several aspects that businesses should employ to protect the valuable data and computer infrastructure that are crucial to efficient operation. In this guide, we will present a cybersecurity checklist, including cyber liability insurance designed to provide coverage against computer-based crimes.
Cyber Security: Protecting Against a Range of Threats
There are many challenges for organizations when it comes to protecting against computer-based criminal threats. Each organization has its own factors, including regulatory compliance issues and unique risks inherent in its operations. The concept of cyber security is to safeguard computer systems and data from loss. A comprehensive cybersecurity plan can include:
- Implementing anti-intrusion systems such as firewalls and authentication protocols
- Setting up and enhancing monitoring systems
- Preventing accidental breaches of data
- Conducting risk assessments
- Updating software and hardware to counter emerging threats
- Backing up business-critical data
Every organization will have different needs; the key is to tailor a cyber security plan to address the specific risk exposures and potential threats each organization may face as it conducts business.
Checklist of Best Practices in Cyber Security
A robust cyber security strategy is made up of many parts. For some businesses, simple steps are all that is required to create a secure computing environment; these steps may include updating antivirus software and backing up information used in daily operations. For other businesses, the process of creating a secure system is more complex. Here is a checklist of cyber security practices used by some of the largest businesses in the country:
- Assess risks – as mentioned earlier, every organization is exposed to unique risks. It is crucial that information security professionals assess the specific needs of their organization in order to better understand potential threats.
- Implement employee training programs – too often, employees are responsible for creating situations where data breaches can occur. By training employees in best practices, such as password management, physical computer security strategies, and recognizing so-called “phishing” attempts, the chances for a business-interrupting data breach become far less likely.
- Update software and hardware – antivirus and anti-intrusion software is only effective when it is updated regularly. Cyber criminals continually probe for weaknesses, and software updates are designed to respond to any emerging threats. By keeping software and hardware devices up to date, business-critical data is protected from loss.
- Implement rigorous cyber security policies – related to employee training, a cyber security policy is an important component of overall security. Create a clear written policy that addresses the specific risks facing your organization, including use of social media platforms, allowing or forbidding personally-owned devices on business networks, and requiring multi-level authentication procedures to access computer systems. Once written, ensure that all employees understand the requirements.
- Monitor Threats – IT professionals know that constant monitoring is the key to success in cyber security. Detecting intrusions before they can result in data loss or theft helps protect against criminal activity.
No checklist is complete without cyber liability insurance. This specialized form of insurance protection is designed to cover the financial losses associated with a data breach, and often includes coverage for affected party notification, forensic services, credit monitoring, and business interruption expenses. Businesses that utilize computer systems and sensitive data in their operations should make the investment in cyber liability insurance; with a robust insurance policy in place, the organization and its assets are protected, no matter what cyber criminals attempt.
About National Computer Security Day
First celebrated in 1988, National Computer Security Day is observed on November 30th of each year. The day was originally created by information security professionals to raise awareness of cybersecurity issues and to share best practices across industries. This year’s celebration marks the 30th anniversary, and helps showcase the advances in information security practices used by businesses and organizations of all types.
About Caitlin Morgan
Caitlin Morgan specializes in insuring assisted living facilities and nursing homes and can assist you in providing insurance and risk management services for this niche market. Give us a call to learn more about our programs at 317.575.4440.