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On September 23, 2019, the United Nations and twenty-seven countries have signed a joint agreement on what constitutes fair and foul play in cyberspace. But the first step is protecting your own personal and commercial digital assets.

The importance of cybersecurity planning has made headlines around the world with the 2017 WannaCry ransomware hitting over 200,000 victims in multiple countries. WannaCry is a malware virus that takes a computer hostage by locking out the user. The attacker then demands payment, usually by Bitcoin to release the files. Cyber attacks are on the rise and Reliance Insurance recently hosted a webinar on the real- threat we all face regarding cyber-attacks and what every organization can do to mitigate the fall out if attacked.

It is described as one of the three largest global ransomware attacks to occur. Although Canada was one country that has dodged the bullet, it is only a matter of time before we see more and more of these crimes. And it is not just big organizations being targeted. Everyone is vulnerable if they don’t have a solid risk management strategy regarding cybersecurity. Overall, these mass ransomware attacks are on the decline, but what is on the rise if very targeted attacks. This makes companies, small or big at greater risk.

Cyber security specialists on CBC The Current

Mark Scott the European Tech Reporter for the New York Times told Anna Maria Tremonte on the CBC Current today, there has been a growing rise of ransomware emerging in the last year. He says that although most companies don’t want to spend money on technology and security, it will only be a matter of time before they encounter a cyber-attack of some sort. He thinks the latest round of Cybersecurity was initiated for monetary gain, but that is yet to be confirmed.

Protect yourself and your business assets

According to experts, there are some basic things to follow on a regular basis to protect yourself:

  1. Always and regularly update your operating systems and programs with the latest releases.
  2. Use a reputable and good up-to-date anti-virus software.
  3. Back up data on a regular basis and keep it separate from your computer.
  4. Think about emails you open and what type of files you download. Train staff in organizations to understand how sophisticated cyber attackers are.
  5. For organizations ensure upgrade and make sure you have the best cybersecurity available.

Countering cybercrime is a global responsibility

Neil Walsh, Director of the Global Program on Cyber Crime with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime directs the program to help member nations around the world to combat cybersecurity. He says that the benefit of this attack, it has now got the attention of politicians and leaders. “This proves cybersecurity and countering cybercrime is not just the role of IT departments but is the responsibility of every chief executive and board-level decision-maker; every company, government and every government department must have a cybersecurity plan, they must war game it and practice it.” He also recommends not to pay a ransomware. The best strategy is be prepared so if you receive a ransom attack you have your data available from current backups. There is almost more risk in paying. You are not guaranteed you will get the data back, and you may be hit again. It also contributes to crime.

Risk management resources

Reliance Insurance has hosted Cybersecurity webinars to help BC companies strategize risk management strategies was conducted to help companies think about and build a solid plan to combat cyber-attacks. “Cyber Security insurance is one of the leading insurance products that can help mitigate the enormous loss to a company,” says Chris Ball, CEO of Reliance Insurance. “It is one of the leading insurance protections for companies. Although WannaCry was an external attack, it is often the actions of internal employees that set off the attack. We can help you strategize your war-plan”.

If you missed the webinar contact one of our account executives to help you set up a meeting to review risk management audit and protocols for your company. Call Reliance Insurance Risk Management Specialists at 604-255-4616.

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