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Cyber Security Tips for Small Business

The Internet allows businesses of all sizes and from any location to reach new and larger markets and provides opportunities to work more efficiently by using computer-based tools. Whether a business is thinking of adopting cloud computing or just using email and maintaining a website, cybersecurity should be a part of the plan. Read More

7 Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Identity theft is everywhere. Turn on your TV, and you'll see "special reports" on how to prevent it. Turn on the radio and hear ads for services pledging to protect you from it. Search for it on Google, and you get 140 million results. In fact, according to a 2013 report by Javelin Research, there is one incident of identity fraud every three seconds. Read More

How to Protect your Business Against Fraud

The amount of fraud being perpetrated against businesses is getting worse, both in terms of the number of instances and the amount of money that is being lost, and some of that can be attributed to worsening economic times, according to research. Almost half of the companies around the world surveyed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (www.pwc.com) in 2009 reported that they suffered one or more instance of economic crimes. Read More

Cyber Attack Safety: Diligence is Key to Stopping Many Problems

By Joel Gallon, CFO, Republic Bank of Arizona

Last year, you most likely heard widespread news coverage of a number of cyber attacks that wreaked havoc on companies around the world. One in particular, called WannaCry was exceptionally vicious as it infected over 200,000 computers worldwide and locked many organizations out of their data.

This attack was a type of malware called Ransomware, which meant that once it infected your computer it encrypted all your files, locking you out of your data. The only way you could recover your data was from backups or by paying the attacker a $300 ransom to decrypt all of your data.

Perhaps the most shocking part of this attack, is that it never should have happened and could have easily been prevented. Here are simple steps you can take to make sure attacks like WannaCry never infect your computers. 

Patching (AKA Installing Updates)

First and foremost, make sure your computers, mobile devices, apps, and anything else connected to the Internet are up-to-date. By dutifully installing updates released by software companies on your computers and mobile devices, you make it much harder for someone to hack you.

Take WannaCry for example: The May 2017 WannaCry outbreak would have largely been benign had organizations applied a March 14, 2017 patch for all current supported Operating systems. Those running operating systems that were no longer supported by the manufacturers were particularly at risk. 

To ensure your devices stay current, enable automatic updating whenever possible to almost any technology connected to a network. This includes your computers and mobile devices, Internet-connected TVs, home routers, gaming consoles and automated home appliances. If your operating systems or devices are so old that they are no longer supported with security updates, as is the case with Windows XP, replace them with new ones that are supported.

According to cyber-security experts at HP, patching is one of the simple cardinal rules. If you have software, update it. If you don't patch, you are at risk of cyber attacks. 

Installing Anti-Virus Software

Another common step to protecting yourself against malware is to install anti-virus/anti-malware software from trusted vendors. These programs are designed to detect and stop malware. However, anti-virus/anti-malware cannot block or remove all malicious programs. 

Cyber criminals are constantly innovating new and more sophisticated malware that can evade detection. In turn, anti-virus/anti-malware vendors are constantly updating their products with new capabilities to detect malware, which leads us back to the importance of keeping all your programs updated.

Working Together 

Helping you stay informed and up-to-date is one way Republic Bank of Arizona can help you protect yourself from cyber attacks. Watch for more information on cyber security coming your way soon. Another way to keep awareness front of mind is to subscribe to one of the many free security newsletters available. Google search "OUCH! Newsletter" for my personal favorite.

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