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are used to prevent automated software from performing actions which degrade the quality of service of a given system, whether due to abuse or resource expenditure.
Security Tips For Wearable Devices
Wearable devices like smart watches, headphones and fitness trackers can track employee productivity, provide GPS services and give employees access to email. Wearables increase your risk, though, so use several security tips to protect your company, employees and devices.
Understand Data Access and Usage
The personal information and data stored on wearable devices can be shared or sold. Read the fine print on your purchase agreement to understand how and what data is collected and how it’s used.
Secure the Wireless Connection
Wearable devices can connect to smartphones and communicate wirelessly. Use only a secure internet connection as you protect sensitive and confidential information. Consider using a dedicated network, too, as an additional security measure.
Set a PIN
A PIN reduces the likelihood that a hacker or thief can access the information stored on the device that’s lost or stolen. Require all wearable users to set an encrypted PIN on their device for protection, and consider implementing a remote erase feature.
Create Privacy Settings
It’s a good idea to turn off your location and limit access to your photos or calendar. These privacy settings protect your employees’ and company’s information.
One benefit of wearables is the ease of sharing data between devices and apps. This ease-of-use is valuable, but it also increases risk and vulnerability. Restricting your employees’ access to confidential information controls the flow of data and improves security. As an example, allow meeting reminder alerts but prevent access to documents on smartwatches.
Address Surveillance Concerns
With video, audio and photo capabilities, wearables can be used for unauthorized surveillance. Confidential information or sensitive areas could be captured and used for unethical purposes. Remind employees to protect their devices from prying eyes in public and to only capture video, audio or photos they’re authorized to record.
Install Patches and Updates
The operating systems and applications on wearable devices may be vulnerable to security breaches. Install all available patches and updates on your wearables to improve security.
Ensure Employee Privacy
Wearable devices can provide constant monitoring of your employees’ behaviors, activity and whereabouts. Ensure employees that you only use data for internal purposes, and take measures to protect this data and your employees’ privacy.
Write a BYOD Policy
You may choose to provide wearable devices to employees or allow them to bring their own device (BYOD). If you allow BYOD, write a policy that outlines acceptable use, security measures and appropriate restrictions. It should also detail other applicable measures you will take to protect employee and company data and information.
Wearable devices benefit your company, so take these steps to increase security. Also, update your cybersecurity insurance to protect your company, employees and wearable devices.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Tips To Boost Your Cyber Security In The New Year
Cyber attacks threaten more than your company’s computers. They could affect your company's ability to stay in business.
Prepare for a safe and secure 2018 when you boost cyber security.
Update Software Often
Ensure that every device in your network is equipped with anti-virus software and set to update automatically. Commit to check for patch updates, too, often throughout the year.
Firewalls protect your computer from many viruses and other malicious content. They can block suspicious content and prevent employees from accessing malicious websites. Double check that your firewalls are working and updated.
Open Email Carefully
Cybercriminals often place viruses, malware and other malicious content in email attachments, or they entice readers to share personal information. Because your employees may receive hundreds of daily emails, host a training and equip them to recognize and avoid threats.
Require employees to change passwords every month or more frequently. Also, encourage them not to share their password with anyone, even with coworkers, and never to write down their passwords. For security, passwords should follow several guidelines.
Be hard to guess
Include eight or more characters
Contain a mix of uppercase and lower letters, characters and numbers
Be different for every site
Share Files Wisely
Many companies rely on file sharing, and your employees and clients can collaborate safely when you use cloud-based sharing resources like Google Docs, OneDrive or Dropbox. Remind employees never to share files with strangers, and disable sharing of all hard drives to prevent infections.
Back Up Data
All systems should automatically back up data throughout the day. Now’s also a great time to select and begin using an off-site data storage option for greater security.
Perform Regular Security Scans
Legitimate anti-spyware programs scan your computer and remove damaging files, malware and other malicious content. Choose a program carefully, then set it up to scan daily.
Implement a Cybersecurity Team and Safety Protocol Steps
Whether you hire several IT specialists or rely one one chief security officer, your company needs a team who will monitor, prevent and address cyber threats. Additionally, implement protocols that guide your employees on how to address and report cyber security challenges they face like pop-ups, outdated network security certificates or suspicious emails.
Purchase Cyber Insurance
Insurance can’t prevent a cyber attack, but it does cover financial costs associated with breaches. Purchase or update your cyber insurance so you can pay for damages, remediation and other costs that result from a cyber attack.
Cybersecurity threats affect hundreds of businesses every year. These steps boost your security and prepare your business to stay safe in 2018.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
When Should You Replace Your Company's Computers?
Slow and outdated computers compromise your company’s productivity. Old devices can also allow cyber breaches. Understand when to replace the office computers as you improve cybersecurity and protect your company and customers.
Boost Startup and Shutdown
Computers should startup and shutdown within seconds. Slow startup and shutdown could indicate that too many applications run in the background or that your computers are running out of space and should be upgraded.
If your computers need new hardware like memory or graphics slots, you can upgrade that hardware. There comes a point, though, when your computers have no more capacity or can’t support essential upgrades. A new model will support your hardware needs.
The newest Windows or Mac operating systems feature strong security and could allow you to implement protective measures like fingerprint readers or a facial recognition camera. Replace your computers to improve security.
Speed up Performance
Slow computers increase user frustration and reduce efficiency and productivity. Consider an upgrade to ensure all your office computers run at their optimum performance.
Load Applications Quickly
Confirm that you’re running the latest version of the applications you use often. If your computers are still slow, they may be unable to handle the tasks and should be replaced.
Match Hardware and Software
A computer’s hardware and the software your company runs must be compatible or the device is useless. Upgrade your computers to ensure the hardware and software match.
Ideally, computers can handle multiple applications at one time. However, if you notice delays or crashes when you open applications or switch between tabs, your computers may be too old to handle your tasks.
Large, bulky and heavy computers take up valuable workspace and are not always energy efficient. Select smaller yet powerful machines, and you help employees organize their desks and complete their work more effectively.
Clean the Machines
Dirty keyboards can be cleaned with compressed air, and you can clean or replace noisy fans. However, if you’ve taken these steps and your computer fans still run often, it could be a sign that your computers can’t handle the programs and applications you run.
Save Money on Repairs
Sometimes, your computers simply need a repair, but the cost of the parts or the repairs may total as much as half the cost of a new device. In this case, replacing your old computers may be a smart decision for your business.
Your office computers are essential for business, so replace them as needed. Additionally, be sure to add your new devices to your business insurance policy, and verify that your cybersecurity insurance coverage continues to meet your needs and protects your customers and company.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Lessons from the Recent Major Computer Hacks
Recent computer crimes involving hacking major department stores, governments, banks, healthcare providers, credit card companies, even motion picture studios suggest no system is safe from cyber-attacks.
How can we risk manage this threat?
Updating computer systems can be tricky and often exposes data normally kept safe behind firewalls. When components are switched out, oftentimes doors are left open for outsiders to intrude.
For example, when you must lower your own firewall, be sure you've changed the factory provided password to the next firewall. Check your fundamentals. Implement strict protocols for employees to change any aspect, hardware or software, of their company computers. Centralize this function if possible.
Train employees to recognize phishing scams. Do not relay log-in information or passwords in response to an email. If an email seems poorly worded with misspellings, it probably did not originate from a major corporation.
Change passwords regularly. Request all systems users to change their passwords often. The company can protect passwords through thorough hashing and encrypting.
The company should back up all encryption software and password information.
Completing all possible due diligence helps move the criminals to an easier target, but determined hackers can find ways in. So, how does a risk manager deal with one of the fastest growing liability risks for companies?
First, understand the magnitude of the risk. For each client record exposed through your company website, your company will provide a year of identity theft protection and cyber security. At a reasonable $150 per account, you gasp at the 1,000,000 customer accounts like the large chains or credit card companies exposed to loss.
These claims are becoming more frequent, and more severe. The only risk management answer is transferring the risk, and most likely through insurance. What limit is safe? Depending upon your data base from outside your company, customer data, supplier data, bank information, and things you can't remember, like old accounts, these claims can bankrupt companies and destroy reputations if an inadequate response is offered.
Consider that $150 per account. How many will you likely lose in a cyber-attack? Talk to your insurance agent and find the best fitting plan. It's worth the conversation.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
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