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Your business probably has the same cybersecurity vulnerabilities that Equifax did when they were hacked

Your business probably has the same cybersecurity vulnerabilities that Equifax did when they were hacked.png

Another major data breach at an American company worth billions of dollars has served to heighten cyber security concerns in businesses of many sizes in many countries. Equifax announced in September 2017 that a massive theft of data from their system had occurred. The failures of Equifax's cybersecurity team resulted in hackers obtaining the personal information of over one hundred and forty-five million of the people whose credit history Equifax tracked.

NSA Leaks are making U.S. Businesses Vulnerable

In the popular imagination, major cybersecurity events involve an elite hacker (or a group of them) employing a singular genius to crack complex computer codes and steal vital secrets or millions of dollars.  The reality is that most hackers use a set of tools available for sale for shockingly small amounts of money.  “Hacker schools” in places like Brazil and Russia can train someone who is relatively computer illiterate to use those simple tools to exploit vulnerabilities and gain access to sensitive information, whether it be trade secrets or personally identifiable information useful for committing identity theft. 

The Costly Risks For Businesses When Operating Without Cyber Insurance

 

The last few months have seen a series of high profile ransomware attacks strike businesses across Asia, Europe, and North America.  Large numbers of businesses have seen significant losses as a result of these attacks.  Losses have stacked up, and companies without cyber insurance are now facing hefty bills.

Businesses Lose Millions In Revenue After Backup Systems Fail

"When people consider cybersecurity, too often they think of high-level data encryption, secure sockets layers (SSL), and high powered firewalls and antivirus protection", says Charlie E. Bernier Principal Consultant and Cyber Insurance Expert at ECBM.  "Yet overlooking simple steps to protect a company’s information technology resources can prove just as costly."  Thinking through issues like adequate backup systems, employee training, and network setups can save a company millions of dollars.  A series of outages at major airlines over the past year have highlighted the specific importance of planning backup systems properly.  Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines have all suffered major information technology outages that canceled hundreds or thousands of flights cost these companies millions of dollars in revenue.

What Any Business Can Learn From The Equifax Hack

Equifax faced criticism after how the company reacted to a hack that was announced in September 2017. When dealing with a cybersecurity event, a quick response is necessary to minimize damages from the event.  Delays can cause continued interruptions in day to day business processes the damage or loss of vital information; they can also make it harder to track down perpetrators and recover both data and money from them.  To this end, most cybersecurity experts recommend that businesses put in place an incident response plan so that teams can act as quickly as possible after an incident instead reacting with a frantic, disorganized frenzy of activity.

Hackers Shopping For Your Most Valuable Files

While the world focused on the WannaCry ransomware attacks in early May, a number of news stories broke highlighting a different kind of cybersecurity ransom.  Ransomware such as WannaCry lock you out from accessing your own files and will not give access back until you pay the ransom.  More industrious and targeted hackers however prefer to steal specific targeted files and threaten to either release them publicly or sell them to competitors if a company does not pay the ransom.

Businesses WannaCry After Companies Hacked Globally

A massive ransomware attack crippled thousands of businesses around the globe on May 12, 2017.  Nicknamed WannaCry, the attack hit Britian’s National Health Services, FedEx, and ahost of major companies.  Preliminary reports estimate the number of affected companies at over two hundred thousand.  It is too early to put a number to the economic damage caused by the attack, but it serves a critical reminder of important cyber security principles.

Cyber Island Hopping Leaves Small Businesses Exposed To Big 3rd Party Risks

An emerging area of cyber liability for small businesses centers around the concept of third party risk.  Third party risk means damages resulting from the security breach of a connected party - normally vendors or customers.  Small businesses can face third party cyber risk on a number of fronts.  They can face liability from a breach of their own systems infecting a vendor; they can also face damages caused when the breach of a vendor causes a breach of their own systems.  Franchisee relationships have also caused increasing concerns of cyber risk.

Where To Start? Tips For Businesses Taking Steps To Improving Their Cyber Security

Cyber criminals have a large number of ways of gaining access to a company’s computer systems.  What they do when they gain access to that system can also vary widely. 

Ignoring Your Cybersecurity Risks Won't Make Them Go Away

Hardly a day goes by in the current news cycle without some new cyber-security story breaking.  The end of 2016 included a disclosure of 500 million hacked Yahoo! email accounts, concerns raised over the security of U.S. election systems, and a formal announcement by the U.S. government that Russians had hacked into the emails of the Democratic National Committee and the New York Times.  A Report from industry experts this past month pegged the expected value of cybercrime in 2021 at $6 TRILLION a year.