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For Agents & Brokers

10 tips to protect your home and business from cyber criminals

HSB “Hacker Lab” shows how easy it is to infiltrate a home or business

How safe is your Internet connection? It’s easier than you might think for cyber thieves to breach your home and business computer network and connected devices. At a recent event presented by HSB, an ethical hacker revealed how cyber criminals work – and what consumers and businesses can do to protect themselves.

Educating customers about cyber risks

During the workshop in New York City, a remote cyber-attack was launched on an Internet-connected model home in Ohio used by Munich Re companies to train claim adjusters and other insurance professionals.

And while the presentation was designed to help educate and provide home cyber defense ideas for consumers, the lessons learned apply equally well to your small business customers.

Hack attack highlights security flaws

The event showed how hackers choose their targets, enter a system using common security flaws, and the harm they can do once they infiltrate a communications network. Our ethical hacker easily gained control of the model home’s cameras, lighting, door locks and other devices.

HSB event focuses on cyber defense

The “Home Hacker Lab” was organized by HSB and featured Jerry Irvine, chief information officer of Prescient Solutions, a Chicago-based IT outsourcing firm and member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Cybersecurity Leadership Council.

Key lessons learned

Some of the key takeaways included: most attacks happen via traditional means, through Wi-Fi systems, emails and computer browsers; and hackers are quickly finding new entry points through smart Internet of Things (IoT).

What you can do to improve cyber security

Here are tips from HSB cyber specialists to help small businesses owners and consumers protect their Internet connected networks.

  1. Keep systems updated with patched and security updates.
  2. Use separate devices to access social media and financial activity.
  3. Secure the network that connects your devices with new passwords, encryption and other measures.
  4. Set up two-factor authentication for all online accounts.
  5. Secure your smartphone with a passcode to lock the screen.
  6. Think before purchasing or installing apps on smartphones or tablets. Are they trusted and secure?
  7. When not using Bluetooth, turn off the feature.
  8. Purchase only new devices in unopened packaging from reputable retailers. Don’t buy “open box” items.
  9. Wipe/reset to factory defaults when replacing connected devices or selling a home.
  10. Check insurance policies closely for coverage related to cyber crimes.

Insurance is important to cyber security

Insurance is an increasingly important part of managing today’s cyber risks. And most commercial insurance policies contain coverage gaps for cyber exposures.

HSB Total Cyber offers a suite of coverages

HSB Total Cyber™ insurance for businesses draws on HSB’s decade of experience insuring against data breaches and cyber attacks, combining seven separate areas of coverage that can be configured into a customized program to fit your clients’ needs.

Find out more about insurance options

HSB also offers options for identity theft and data breach coverage that can be bundled with our HSB TechAdvantage™ equipment breakdown insurance. Visit our website, or contact your HSB representative for more information.

10 tips to protect your home and business from cyber criminals