6 Cyber Security Tips to Help You Protect Your Insurance Website From Hacking

Cyber security threats are constantly changing. It is important to stay on top of emerging trends to keep your insurance agency website secure. A secure website not only protects your customers, it protects your brand. Here are the six top tips to help you keep your insurance website protected.

  1. Be Cautious When Creating Login Credentials
    Giving someone access to the back-end of your website is sort of like giving someone a key to your business. Maintain caution when giving someone login access and always keep login access to the minimum amount of people necessary to keep your website up-to-date.

  2. Update Security Patches, Limit Password Attempts, Use Malware Protection Software
    One of the most proactive ways you can keep would-be hackers at bay is to keep all aspects of your website’s code updated. When security patches, plugins, or dependency updates are released, install them as soon as possible. Hackers are constantly looking for exploits to popular coding methods. When an exploit is discovered it is typically patched by the code developers as quickly as possible. The sooner you update your code the sooner you remove a threat that’s accessible to thousands of hackers. And all insurance websites should use a malware detection and prevention solution and limit password attempts.

  3. Create a “We’ve been hacked” Response Plan
    Even the best attempts at keeping your site from hacking can fall short. It is absolutely imperative you have a response plan. Audit logs, backups, and contact information for IT support should be included in your response plan.

  4. Collect Detailed Activity Logs
    Make certain you have access to log reports on all back-end website functions, to help pinpoint issues when a breach occurs. Every login attempt, page adjustment, code adjustment, and plugin addition should be logged with user time stamps.

  5. Perform frequent backups and keep a copy of recent backup data off premises.
    Backing up your website should be an integral part of your response plan, and some hosting providers offer daily backup services. How often you need to backup your website will depend on how often you update it. When your insurance agency backs up your site, save a copy of the backup off of your server in easily accessible cloud storage. If your host is hacked and the server’s contents are compromised, you will have an unaltered version stored out of the hands of hackers.

  6. Train Users on How to Stay Secure
    Once you have your Cyber Security plan enabled, train all users on how to stay safe and prevent attacks. Educate users on how to generate very strong passwords and keep them safe by using a password manager, recognize email phishing scams, and how to encrypt emails that contain sensitive information. What’s a strong password? Today, use at least 10 characters, with alpha (including a cap), numeric (random not a sequential string), and special characters (exclamation, etc.). Many website platforms such as WordPress, will generate and/or measure the strength of your password.

To protect your website, start with the basics above, then determine if you have the expertise to continually stay abreast of potential cyber attacks. If not, consider outsourcing this initiative to a proficient web hosting and debeleopment company or insurance marketing agency.

5 Cyber Security Tips To Help You Stay Safe At Work

If it’s not your job to take care of the cyber security matters, then why should you care? You must do because you still need to play your part in this system. If something goes wrong and you were found at fault, you will be held responsible.

If you want to stay secure, below are a few tips for cyber security tips at work.

Avoid writing password on paper

No matter how much work you have to do at work, make sure you keep your passwords secure. It won’t be a good idea to write down your passwords on a piece of paper like a sticky note and then put it somewhere where everyone can see it. This approach will compromise your personal data quickly than you can imagine. Try a password manager instead.

Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi

Irrespective of the type of industry you are in, probably you have to do some work when you are away from your office in the market. Today, everyone needs to stay connected to the Internet through WiFi at all times, but public WiFi can’t be a safe choice here.

If you are going to use a public WiFi, make sure you use the VPN offered by your company before making an important financial transaction.

Avoid Using Unknown USB drives

People drop things, especially things that are small in size. You may have come across something lying on the ground, such as a USB drive. What would you do to it? Like most people, you will be tempted to make use of it.

Unfortunately, according to research studies, most people who come across USB drivers connect them to their computers to see what’s on them, which is a big mistake. You don’t know what is stored on them. It could be a virus or malware that may damage your office computer or steal your sensitive data. Therefore, it’s better to avoid using such devices.

Avoid phishing traps

Often criminals access corporate networks through a phishing trap. It’s important to keep in mind that no company whether small or large is immune to these frauds. It can happen to any of us.

You may think you are safe, but know that your data may be stolen. Criminals are always on the lookout of an opportunity to achieve their purpose. They may steal your data and sell it on the dark web.

So, the question is, how can you avoid a phishing fraud? It’s simple. You shouldn’t click on just any link that looks quite similar to the website you frequently visit.

Back up Your data

Make sure you back up your data. Ranswomware have caused billions of dollars of loss to people, especially businesses. When people are unable to access their important files, they agree to pay the ransom amount demanded by the cyber attackers. Often, they target companies because they can pay huge amounts in ransom to save their data.

So, what is the way out? You just need to backup your data, which will keep you safe when you refuse to pay the ransom and the hacker deletes your data.

So, these are a few cyber security tips that you may want to follow to stay safe at work.

Employee Cyber Security Training Tips

You can tell your employees not to use their cell phones at work, but they are likely using them when you are not looking anyhow. You can instruct them that they should not download anything from an entrusted third party, and yet they are going to see a name they recognize and just go ahead and click anyhow. So what do you do?

Many companies will add a cybersecurity policy into their employee handbook and never speak of it again. That is a huge mistake! Not only should you hold a thorough training on this subject with your employees, but also you should have them attend this training at least twice a year!

Data security training needs to shock the employee enough to realize that human error is one of the leading causes of data breaches. Throw facts and statistics at them. Let them know they play a huge role in the safety of the company and how a large portion of data breaches are completely preventable and have stemmed from user error.

Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigations Report of 2015 showed that 30% of staff-related e-mail breaches were due to sensitive information being sent to incorrect recipients.

While many prevention tips may seem like common sense to us by now, we tend to get lazy and take shortcuts. Find a way to get your employees to break their bad habits!

  • Educate employees on the types of cyber threats out there so they know the warning signs and how each threat attacks.
  • Never share passwords (even internally) and do not buy one of those internet password notebooks to write in and manage your login information!
  • Never plug in a USB without knowing its origin and expected contents.
  • Lock your computer when you step away from your desk for even a moment.
  • Be cautious what is in view on the monitor before screen sharing in webinars or when anyone else is around.
  • Never share emails that are not related to the work that you are doing as they may contain malicious attachments.
  • Training needs to include the warning signs of a breached system. Why? Once a system is breached, it is critical to remove the threat rapidly to prevent data loss or a follow-up virus or worm.

The crucial take away points are to implement cyber training with ALL employees (C-suite included) right away, and to repeat the training at least twice a year; refreshing the agenda with new cyber threats, statistics and details which have come to light since the previous training.

Is Your Business Vulnerable to Information and Cyber Security Risks?

Organizations and businesses often operate with significant risk due to an over dependency on reactive risk countermeasures and vulnerability scanning tools. This risk is of concern not only because of the high probability of attack to our IT systems, but also due to the low priority of information security activities when compared to other operational “necessities”. This complex organizational concern, almost assures that information and cybersecurity is NOT given priority until after a significant loss of information or system availability occurs an organization. This risk left unmanaged, subjects all stakeholders to loss of our privileged information and the high cost of system and incident recovery.

The attacks to our systems often target core mission and system services for the purpose of gaining privileged information and for denying access to key services. Gladly for our customers, and us there are risk management solutions that maximize security and provide significant resource and cost savings throughout your business development and operational lifecycle (NOT just when vulnerabilities are discovered). These risk management solutions, once implemented, provide for mission focus and continuous monitoring while also balancing security requirements with business vision, system functionalities, and operational capabilities.

Solutions should integrate businesses own lessons learned with operational activities to fill their own critical Information Security (IS) and cybersecurity gaps. Every business, or peer group, has unique risks that are managed. These solutions have roadmaps and experienced professionals that control the cost and/or complexity of increasing to an increased security level. These experienced professionals’ help in identifying and addressing specific business requirements into policies and plans that support the activities required by both the mission and supporting IS (cybersecurity) standards.

The solutions are implemented using multiple, often overlapping activities and include: 1) Aligning the business mission, vision, goals, objectives and IS value by defining IS requirements early, 2) Provide experienced industry program managers and IS professionals that will work alongside the many stakeholders, 3) Assess requirements and value, recommend solutions, integrate services, and sustain IS value, functions and capabilities to reduce risk, 4) Provide value focused system functions, capabilities, scalability, and performance that improves the mission and reduces risk to the stakeholders, 5) Leverage IS services for continuous monitoring and value added automation.

Risk Management is ultimately related to many projects and tasks that align with your vision and expectation of providing valued services at every level of your organization. Projects have distinct and important phases that are sequential; these project phases’ success or failure directly impact on and ultimately affects the success of the organization. IS is a significantly important piece of many ongoing activities in a diverse and expert environment. A combined program management, systems engineering, and IS professional approach will most quickly maximize mission efficiencies while improving fundamentals needed to meet and implement security controls. Management and technical activities, focused on mission needs, should follow tailored industry best practices to maximize operations, manage risk and be compliant with IS security requirements.

Improving operations and the sustainment of IS is best done from the top down, on both governance and technical levels. This approach has achieved improved operations and has avoided many problems associated with managing both risk and change. With the realization that risks must be managed regardless of the reduction to available funds today, we must view that any resource and cost waste is unacceptable. Thereby, all activities must be run “on purpose” as activities without purpose needlessly add risk and cost to the organization.

Using a tailored program management approach in meeting our security requirements and managing the risk that is always present, our teams must successfully implemented many tools and improvements that put the pieces together to define strategic IS vision, improve IS management and leadership, and improve IS tactical efficiencies.