Greg discusses tips for cybersecurity protection in the pandemic era in this episode of Ask The Expert. 800 CHAB radio presents Ask the Expert with Greg Marcyniuk of Heritage Insurance located in Moose Jaw.
Here's a full transcript of the episode.
Rob Carnie: More and more people are working remotely from home these days, and the doors are opening for cyberattacks. The criminal element is attacking, they're hacking, and — in some cases — succeeding in their quest to scam local businesses. It's a very real and constant threat.
Greg Marcyniuk from Heritage Insurance in Moose Jaw has seen it. He offers cyberattack insurance coverage, but he'd rather not deal with a claim, he'd rather local business owners and managers take proper precautions to avoid being victims.
Greg Marcyniuk: That's right. These cybercriminals are trying to cash in on the COVID-19 crisis, unfortunately. And, as always, we have to be that much more aware that cybercriminals are well aware that IT departments and cybersecurity groups are stretching thin during this pandemic, making them more exposed to attacks. So what should you be doing as a far as an employer and an employee that's working from home?
First and foremost, you should develop a remote work policy specifically for the pandemic.
Next, connect to a virtual private network — a VPN — if possible. I would, myself; we would not do it without it. You know, it just doesn't make any sense, and any of your IT people are very familiar with a VPN.
The other big thing is ensuring that your software is updated. Because if your software is not updated, you're just that much more vulnerable to risk. And again, enforce basic cybersecurity practice, make sure that you have strong passwords.
Change your passwords. And when you're connecting, do not connect to anything that is public Wi-Fi. You want to privately secure Wi-Fi that you are working. And consistently train how to detect a phishing attack. Anybody needs any training, we have them on our website. There's different sites that are available through Google that you can have your employees go through.
And even as the employers, it's great practice. Because, I tell you, these criminals are getting smarter and smarter. As well, avoid using removable media, and what I'm talking about is USB, SD cards, and disks. Just do not use them at this time — they are just too vulnerable. As well, limit employee access that can have full access to all of your programs and resources.
Just give them access to what they really need, and send constant reminders to those that are working from home as far as identifying possible malicious link. A switch to remote may create uncertainties on how to contact the IT or cybersecurity team. So very imperative that you have your employees be contacted on a regular basis with your IT people.
Rob: You've told us before, it does happen right here at home. And the cybercriminals can get into your computer system with ransomware. And it can knock a business right out of business.
Greg: Oh, it sure can. And the cost are astronomical, and you want to be prepared for it, and you should have a backup plan that's there with the proper IT people. If you have the proper coverage in place, you have access to the proper people in the event, that can come in, they can find out where it came from, and actually negotiate with these thieves. Basically that's all they are — thieves.
Rob: We can get packages at Heritage Insurance to protect ourselves?
Greg: That's correct. Just contact any of us here at Heritage Insurance — either give us a call or online.
(Video transcription by Speechpad)