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Shoring up your defenses against cyber crime

Coastal Community’s Information Security Officer Frederic Pons shows you how to help close your organization’s door on cybercrime. 

February 2021  5 min read

In these pandemic times, online activity has never been higher. More businesses than ever are using digital tools and doing business through the internet. Unfortunately, that means scammers are busier than ever trying to steal information or money. From viruses to hackers, do you know how to help your organization close the door on cyber crime?

Businesses large and small need a cybersecurity plan to make sure they are not leaving any cyber doors open to fraudsters. Even one successful attack may lead to potential loss of income, loss of consumer data, or network security and privacy lawsuits. Scammers are constantly developing new frauds, so good cybersecurity practices need to be part of everything you and your staff do, across your organization. A good first step is to offer staff training on cyber risks, including:

  • Being on guard against phishing emails or texts. Don’t open any attachments, click on any links, use any resource provided in an unsolicited email or text or give out personal, financial, medical or confidential information.
  • Ensuring strong-private-unique passwords for all your services, and setting up 2-factor authentication wherever possible. Multi-factor authentication helps to prevent many of the most successful cyberattacks. If you have to set up security questions/answers, make up the answers as hackers may be able to find your mother's maiden name, elementary school, etc.
  • Making sure never to install apps, drivers, screensavers, games or software from unknown vendors. 

Meeting security and privacy best practices is even more important if your business collects customer data or credit card numbers, either in a brick-and-mortar store or online. To see how your cybersecurity plan stacks up, consider:

  • taking CyberSecure Canada’s certification program for small and medium-sized businesses; 
  • checking out companies that offer cyber health checks;
  • reviewing all your technological dependencies to shore up any possible weaknesses.

Finally, did you know there’s insurance coverage to protect your company against cyber attacks? If you have any questions, start by talking over your situation with an insurance expert to help you choose the best coverage for your business.