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Protect Your Hybrid Workforce, Seriously!
Spencer Heaton—A&S System Consultants
n our new WFH world, susceptibility to data loss has increased just like that. Hackers and cybercriminals alike are exploiting small and medium-sized businesses with sophisticated ransomware tactics, leveraging the uncertainty of the times. A hybrid workforce is likely here to stay post pandemic, so the issue brokerages face is offering a WFH lifestyle while maintaining a secure work environment for their businesses and clients.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an alert encouraging organizations to adopt a heightened state of cybersecurity. According to their report, remote work options must require, at minimum, a VPN solution to connect employees to an organization’s network. It encourages organizations to follow a number of recommendations when considering alternate workplace options (see below). There are now plenty of resources available on properly securing your business, including some great mitigation strategies recommended by our southern neighbours. With all the client and financial information brokers hold, it makes us prime targets for cyber-attacks. We need to be ready for when it happens as it’s no longer if, but when.
Cyber Security Measures for WFH Brokerages
  • Conduct an audit on all technology—use outside sources if necessary
  • Limit network access and patch all software, not just windows
  • Update VPNs and network infrastructure devices—old devices are easy prey
  • Update devices being used to remote into work environments—yes, home computers are now a threat to your data
  • Protect local and/or cloud backups, ensuring they can’t be compromised if you are
  • Alert and train employees to expect an increase in phishing emails—staff are your first line of defense
  • Ensure IT security personnel are prepared and trained to properly protect you
  • Implement MFA on all VPN connections wherever possible—almost all cyber carriers now require this on some level
Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario
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