Cyber-attacks: prevention better than cure.

14th March 2018

In many ways, cyber-attacks are like sports injuries: nobody can afford to suffer one; they can hit unexpectedly at any time; the level of damage can vary vastly and prevention is always better than cure.

Unfortunately, with cyber-attacks growing in prominence, their targets are also becoming more ambitious with major sporting events and organisations becoming ever more likely to fall victim to online terrorism.

This was highlighted by the recent cyber-attack on the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics during the opening ceremony. The attack resulted in the official website being taken offline and also affected TV and internet access at the games, causing problems for spectators as well as embarrassment for the organisers.

Full operations were restored within 12 hours of the attack taking hold, but not before the damage had been seen by the world audience and spectators had been rendered unable to print tickets or access event information during the first day of the event.

So, if your business or organisation is more familiar with coaching than coding and a hacker to you is an intimidating pre-rugby ritual, where do you start with protecting yourselves and your membership from a cyber-attack?

At Sport Insure, our insurance covers can include breach costs, cyber business interruption, cyber extortion, hacker damage and media liability to help you recover quickly in the wake of an attack. But, as we said before, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to cyber-attacks and there are a number of steps you can take in order to protect your business or organisation from becoming a victim.

The first step is making sure that all employees are aware of the risks and remain on full alert at all times. Next, review five key points with your IT specialist or support team:

1.    Secure emails

Make sure you have effective SPAM filters in place and, even if they come from someone you trust, be suspicious of any emails you receive with unexpected links and attachments, or attachments with strange names. You should also be wary of emails using generic terms, such as ‘Dear customer’ and those with requests for immediate action or instructions on how to claim a prize of some sort.

2.    Improve security

Add a secondary layer of protection by implementing a two-stage authentication, especially for remote access and online services, to verify the identity of the user.

3.    Check backups

Make sure that you back up your systems and data regularly and check these periodically. It’s also wise to ensure that completed back-ups are stored separately from the primary system to avoid infection.

4.    Update systems

Make sure that you apply the latest security updates whenever prompted and upgrade any obsolete or unsupported systems.

5.    Restrict access

Makes sure that you regularly review access permissions, particularly when people join or leave your organisation; this should be in terms of access permissions and levels of access. The less people who have access to your data, the lower the number of potential infection points you have.

For Insurance advice and quotations please contact Natalie Wale of Sports Insure on 07885 984374