Ransomware Attacks Are Driving Up Cyber Insurance Rates

Ransomware attacks were one of the defining cybersecurity threats of 2019, and just two months into 2020, it’s clear that bad actors will continue to deploy this malware to capitalize on their criminality. As companies grapple with the implications of this new reality, many are turning to cybersecurity insurance as a way to offset the cost and consequences of an attack. Unfortunately, ransomware attacks have become so common that cyber insurance rates have soared in response.

According to some reports, cybersecurity insurance has increased by as much as 25% in the past year. At the same time, insurance companies are expanding their offerings, adapting their business model for a shifting data security and regulatory landscape. However, companies relying on cyber insurance will likely be disappointed as payouts rarely cover the cost of an attack, and increasingly high premiums make it an affordable option to begin with.

Instead, many organizations would be better off investing in a robust…

The 5 Steps of A Successful Cybersecurity Plan

Cybersecurity is a complicated subject. It's hard to understand all the facets, the moving gears that are constantly changing. It's complicated even for me and I work with it everyday. There are aspects that can help to make sense of the fundamentals. The 5 key steps within the framework that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) lays out are Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover

The Identify pillar functions to develop an awareness to the key aspects of a cybersecurity plan. This includes knowing how security fits in in the context of your business, risk management and how a cyber attack can affect the future operations of your business, and what assets require which specific resources and protections.  Examples of actions within this pillar include: Identifying physical and software assets (servers, workstations, financial applications, personal data) within your business to create and maintain an asset management program. Identifying vul…

5 Cybersecurity Tips for Shopping Smart on Black Friday

Every year, the cultural phenomenon that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday rolls around. Wallets (and sometimes punches) are thrown in all different directions, trying to get the best deals for Christmas gifts. Most people get through it unscathed, but high stakes, time constraints, and emotions make for a vulnerable shopper. 

This unstable atmosphere creates the perfect opportunity for hackers to take advantage of both you and the stores you shop at. Let's set the scene- say you shopped all day on Black Friday. Out of the 10 stores you bought gifts at, one of them had a compromised Point of Sale system (the machine you swipe your card in). Once you swipe your card- your credit card information, your name, and other personally identifiable information is taken by the hacker. They may take some money from your account, but that's not the worst that could happen. Hackers can do things like open accounts in your name- negatively affecting your credit score- and sell your informatio…

What is a Security Operations Center (SOC) and Why Does My Small Business Need One?

The cyber security landscape is rapidly evolving- the tech that kept you safe last year won't keep you safe this year. Firewalls and antivirus alone won't protect you from the incessant hacking attempts to your business. That's like having one bouncer stand in front of your business and 100 bigger bouncers trying to get in at all times. 

So how do you stop hundreds of bouncers-or hackers- from ramming in your businesses storefront? Dig a mote! For the bouncers at least. For the hackers (the real threat) the most effective solution is a Security Operations Center (SOC). a SOC is a centralized unit compromised of skilled people, processes, and technologies working together to deliver end to end security capabilities.  These include prevention, detection, and investigation of, and response to, cyber security threats and incidents.¹ That sounds complicated and expensive- an entire security unit monitoring your whole infrastructure for malicious content- and it is, BUT it doesn&…

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: SMB Edition

During the month of October, Cybersecurity Awareness Month reminds us of a category of crime that continues to inflict taxpayers and companies with damages amounting to billions of dollars annually. Staying updated on the latest attack types and prevention techniques is the only way to future-proof your organization. Here are five fraud trends from our experts that you won’t want to miss:
Fabrication Synthetic identity fraud is initiated when a hacker procures a social security number by theft or purchase on the Dark Web, and then fabricates an associated name, DOB, email account, or phone number. From there, the fake identity is legitimized and nurtured in order to exploit lines of credit. Once a fraudster is able to become an authorized user, a process that typically takes 5 months, the “bust-out” is ready to be executed. When the dust settles, creditors and businesses are left with dummy accounts filled to the brim with credit card maximums, loans, and cell phone/utility plans.


How Will Windows 7 End-of-Life Affect Your Business?

How Will Windows 7 End of Life Affect Your Business? Post January 14, 2020, your business could be at risk. The computers you use at work could be vulnerable to ransomware attacks and data breaches. 60 percent of companies fold within six months of a cyber attack. You could possibly lose your customers and ultimately your business.
BLOG: How To Make Your Windows 10 Computer Look and Feel More Like Windows 7
How is Your Business at Risk? Using outdated versions of Windows can put your devices at risk.
Your business will no longer be secure If you continue using outdated systems, your computers will be at the mercy of cyberattacks and data breaches. Windows will operate, but you will stop receiving security updates. The cost of a data breach has risen 12 percent over the past 5 years and now costs $3.92 million on average. Imagine the havoc a cyberattack can create with an unsupported and unsecured version of Windows.
• You will risk losing customers Various industry regulations like PCI, HIPP…

What is a "Deepfake"

Deepfake is a term that's been rising to infamy over the past year or so, but it's not a new concept. Deepfakes (a combination of "deep learning" and "fake") are fake videos or audio recordings that look and sound just like the real thing.¹ It's been used in movies for decades- usually with expensive software and million dollar budgets. When actors die mid-filming or a current film is set in the past, deepfakes are useful in creating a believable scene. For example, in Star Wars: Rogue One, they brought back the character Grand Moff Tarkin from the original Star Wars. It's not uncommon for actors to have a cameo in sequels, except Tarkin's actor, Peter Cushing died in 1994. With some movie magic, and a stand-in actor, they were able to digitally recreate Grand Moff Tarkin for the 2016 film. This may be a cool concept for movie-goers and cinema nerds, but what happens if someone uses those same technologies to recreate you? 

"Deepfake video i…