Privacy and Cyber Security
Companies need to take the necessary precautions to guarantee that the massive amount of sensitive data digitally stored is never compromised. In the end, it is up to the business owners to safeguard their customers’ data. Failure to do so could lead to a data breach, which could cost businesses billions of dollars annually. By being aware of the hazards associated with data security, you can avoid a privacy invasion.
Know the Risks
Recognizing the fundamental types of risk is the first step in protecting your business:
- The terms “hackers,” “attackers,” and “intruders” refer to individuals who seek to profit from vulnerabilities in computer software and systems. Even though they may have good intentions at times, their actions typically go against the intended use of the systems they are exploiting. This cyber risk can lead to anything from minimal mischief (e.g., the creation of a virus with no negative effects) to malicious activity (e.g., the theft or modification of a client’s information).
- The term “malicious code” refers to any code in any part of a software system or script that is designed to harm a system, breach security, or cause unwanted effects.
- Viruses: Before this kind of code can infect your system, you have to actually do something, like open an email attachment or visit a specific website.
- Worms: Systems are propagated without user intervention by this code. Usually, they start by taking advantage of a flaw in software. The worm will then attempt to infect additional computers once it has infected the victim’s computer.
- Infectious agents: Trojans on a computer hide in programs that shouldn’t harm you. Like the Greek story, they come out of nowhere and wreck a lot of damage when you least expect it. A common type of Trojan, for instance, is a program that sends confidential information to a remote intruder while claiming to speed up your computer.
IT Risk Management
It is prudent for your company to develop an IT Risk Management Plan in order to reduce cyber risks. Risk management solutions assess risks posed by unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction of your organization’s information systems using industry standards and best practices. When putting risk management strategies into action at your company, keep the following things in mind:
- Develop a formal, well-documented plan for risk management that addresses the scope, roles, responsibilities, compliance requirements, and approach to carrying out cyber risk assessments. All of the systems used by the company ought to be described in this plan in terms of how they are used, how much data is stored and processed, and how important they are to the company.
- The cyber risk plan should be reviewed annually and updated whenever there are significant changes to your information systems, the facilities where systems are stored, or other conditions that could affect the organization’s risk impact.
Due Diligence When Selecting an ISP
Additionally, when choosing an internet service provider (ISP) to use for business purposes, your company should exercise caution. Access to the Internet and other Web services are provided to customers by an ISP. Additionally, the majority of Internet service providers (ISPs) provide Web hosting capabilities, and the company typically maintains Web servers. With this luxury, many businesses back up their files and emails and may use firewalls to stop some traffic from coming in. Consider the following when choosing an ISP to lower your cyber risks:
- Security: Does the ISP care about safety? Does it protect any information you submit with SSL and encryption?
- Services: Does your Internet service provider provide the services you require, and do they meet your company’s requirements? Is there sufficient support for the provided services?
- Cost: Are the ISP’s prices reasonable for the number of services you receive and are they affordable? To get a lower price, are you sacrificing security and quality?
- Reliability: Are the ISP’s services dependable, or do they frequently go down due to maintenance, security issues, or a large number of users? Does the Internet service provider (ISP) adequately inform its customers of the fact that their services will be unavailable if it is aware of this?
- Support for users: Are there publicly available ways to get in touch with customer service, and do you get friendly, prompt service? Do their working hours meet the requirements of your company?
- Speed: Is your Internet service provider’s connection fast enough to access your email or browse the web?
- Recommendations: What do your colleagues in the industry have to say about the ISP? Are they reliable sources? Is the ISP available in your area?
In terms of cyber security, there aren’t many federal regulations, but the few that do exist cover specific industries. Health care organizations, financial institutions, and federal agencies are required, respectively, to safeguard their computer systems and information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, and the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which includes the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). Since these laws’ language is frequently ambiguous, states have attempted to develop cyber security laws that are more specific. In 2003, California set the standard by requiring all businesses that suffer a data breach to inform their customers of the specifics. Data breach notification laws exist in all 50 states and the District of Columbia at the moment.
Protection is Our Business
Your customers expect you to safeguard their private information appropriately. You can never anticipate a data breach, but you can always prepare for one. Contact Knauf Maxwell Insurance Services right away because we have the tools you need to make sure you have the coverage you need to keep your business safe from a data breach.
This Cyber Risks & Liabilities document is not meant to be comprehensive, and nothing in it should be interpreted as legal advice. For appropriate guidance, readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional.