Keeping your business calm amid the cybersecurity chaos.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic prompted a worldwide shift to work remotely, with very little warning or planning, cybercriminals saw an opportunity. With services increasingly operating in a digital environment, a large target has been placed on these businesses.
Now, large-scale data breaches that are affecting thousands of customers at a time have jumped significantly in 2022, with a string of cyberattacks revealing sensitive information about millions of Australians. The Optus and Medibank data breaches have definitely highlighted that the surge in data breaches have brought on the attention of the public, and that malicious cybercriminals can, and will, target Australian companies and their customers. Are mortgage brokers an easy target for cybercrime?
It is important for individuals and small businesses to operate more consciously, assuming that cybercriminals can be interested in cyber-attacking you and your clients. So, how can you ensure that your clients and your business are effectively protected from data breaches?
It is important as a mortgage broker to consider and take measures to maintain the confidentiality of your clients and ensure that their data is protected. This industry is especially attractive to hackers, as we are collecting a great deal of financial information from our clients, and as a result, we need to be wary. A data breach can put clients at increased risk of falling victim to fraud, which has a negative simultaneous effect on them for years. Thus, this threat has urged for mortgage brokers to build cyber-resilient brokerages.
Therefore, the right cybersecurity measures should be imposed, and mortgage brokers and the broader financial services sector have been advised to embed cybersecurity measures. Cyber-attacks on large companies should urge you to implement defence mechanisms before your business falls prey to cybercriminals, with recommendation to thinking about a response well before a response is required. As a rule of thumb, you should ensure the following:
- Have 2-factor authentication set up on your devices, where 2 methods of identification are needed to verify your identity, such as a password and a PIN sent to your mobile. You should also have an anti-virus software to give an extra level of protection.
- Ensure all your data is backed up to a cloud-based provider.
- Don’t use the same passwords for everything.
- Watch for any emails from an unknown origin, especially those that notify you of suspicious activity, ask for confirmation of personal information, include a phony invoice, claim problems with account or payment information, solicit payments using a link, or offer a refund or award.
- Get a password management tool. A popular one is Keeper Security, but there are many others available on the market, including LastPass.
Cybersecurity needs to become an everyday management plan for you, your business, and your clients. It is important to keep up to date with the maintenance of this plan and take on board any additional procedures to secure your business and clients. Your commitment for 2023, and for the years to come, should be to ensure that you are protecting your business and your clients, doing everything that’s right for your customers.