Protect your company against a cyber attack with a human firewall

October 22, 2019

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to pass on some information about keeping your company safe from cyber crime. According to The 2019 Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report™, most firms are unprepared for a cyber attack, yet one of the most effective weapons is readily available: you and your employees.

Build a human firewall

The first step in the fight against cyber crime is prevention. Keep hackers out of your network and you won’t have to worry about cleaning up after a breach. The best way to do this is to enlist the help of those who use your system, including you and your employees. We like to call this the “human firewall” – educated workers who put up the first line of defense against anyone trying to gain access to your system.

Hold regular training sessions to remind employees about the importance of basic cyber security measures like using strong passwords and verifying the veracity of emails. Conducting a phishing experiment by sending out fake emails is a good way to see who in the organization could benefit from additional training. If an employee clicks on a link in an email that’s not from the person they think it’s from, they need more education on how to spot fakes.

New employees and those who work in the finance department may be especially vulnerable. Your onboarding process should include specific instruction on how to spot a fake email and what to do with a request to transfer money.

Don’t forget your business partners and vendors. The 2019 Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report found that over half (57%) of US firms had experienced a cyber attack related to their supply chain in the past 12 months. If suppliers have access to your systems, their preparedness for an attack must be at least equal to yours.

Report suspicious activity

No prevention method is completely foolproof, especially as hackers become more sophisticated. But detecting an intrusion early can limit the amount of damage and help your company get back to work sooner. The adage “See something, say something” should pertain to your employees. If they see anything that looks out of the ordinary, they should report it immediately.

Protect your bottom line

Despite the best efforts of all your employees, a hacker could still get access to your computer system. Cyber insurance, including breach response resources, can help get your company back up and running after an incident. Learn more here.