[Webinar Recap] Get a Grip on Cyber Security & Cyber Insurance

Did you miss “Get a Grip on Cyber Security & Cyber Insurance,” the free webinar presented by Ostra and Trava on April 20? With cybercrime and ransomware increasing exponentially in today’s business climate, small and medium-sized businesses must be more cyber-savvy than ever in their day-to-day operations.

Watch a free, on-demand replay of the webinar to learn how SMBs can better protect themselves and manage risks by sharpening their grasp of cybersecurity and cyber insurance. The webinar was co-hosted by Trava, one of Ostra’s trusted Channel Partners. Trava is a cyber risk management firm that integrates assessments, vCISO insights, and insurance to protect small and midsize businesses from the potential damage of cyber threats.

In this educational 30-minute session, Trava’s CEO/Founder Jim Goldman moderates a discussion with Ostra’s President, Joe Johnson, as well as Ryan Dunn, Director of Insurance at Trava. These cyber industry experts cover topics such as:

  • What is the relationship between cyber security maturity and cyber insurance for small and medium sized businesses?
  • How can SMBs sort through the noise of cyber security and cyber insurance in order to prioritize strategies?
  • What action items should an SMB take to establish their own comprehensive cyber security program?
  • Are there key questions to ask your tech team and vendors when assessing cyber solutions?
  • What’s the difference between cybersecurity vs. cyber liability insurance? Do you really need both?

The current situation

Ryan Dunn shared that insurance is always more successful when carriers have enough data on hand to effectively predict probabilities and risk factors. However, since cyber risks are constantly changing, risk profiles from even five years ago are no longer relevant today.

Compounding the problem, many of today’s cyber insurance applications are full of overly-technical or irrelevant questions that have no ability to uncover the real-time, gaping holes in a company’s cybersecurity strategy. For example, if a company says they are using multi-factor authentication as part of their cybersecurity strategy, is anyone fact-checking or validating that? Also, just because a company might have adequate guardrails around their data today—or at the time of their insurance application—doesn’t mean they will still be safe tomorrow, next week, or next month.

In summary, hardly anyone is comfortable in the current cyber insurance landscape. On one hand, business owners are dealing with insurance premium increases with almost no losses. Meanwhile, insurance agents are dealing with increased cybersecurity requirements and stipulations from insurance carriers—they are not cybersecurity experts, and yet they have to relay this news to clients. A massive increase in cyberattacks is fueling the cycle, yet it’s practically impossible to predict a cybersecurity loss using traditional actuarial tables.

The path forward

Tackling cybersecurity and cyber insurance can produce an overwhelming sense of “doom and gloom” if you are looking at it from reactionary standpoint. Being proactive, taking stock, and having a plan is a much better approach.

According to Joe Johnson, it’s essential for SMBs to understand their cybersecurity vulnerabilities before proceeding with a plan of attack. In practical terms, he recommends the following sequence.

Building Your Cybersecurity Strategy

  1. Conduct cybersecurity assessments to identify in vulnerabilities
  2. Find a vCISO or a trusted advisor with a vested interest in protecting your business and your clients
  3. Provide regular, ongoing cybersecurity training for employees
  4. Put cybersecurity policies in place to protect your organization
  5. Deploy cybersecurity tools with multiple layers of high-caliber defense to protect against known and unknown threats
  6. Prepare for an event, which should include cyber insurance as well as an incident response plan, regular penetration testing, and active monitoring

Since most business owners and even IT departments don’t have in-depth cybersecurity expertise, an important first step is to reach out to an expert or trusted advisor who can partner with you in these steps. Download: Cybersecurity Strategy Tips from Ostra and Trava.

Access the Free, On-Demand Replay

To access a free replay of this webinar, click here.

Learn more about Ostra’s commitment to making cybersecurity more cost-effective for small and medium-sized businesses, or contact Ostra today to get started with a free cybersecurity assessment.

To learn more about cyber insurance, connect with Trava.

glba compliance checklist

GLBA Compliance Checklist: 7 Steps to Comply With

When it comes to cybersecurity for financial institutions, creating a system that is GLBA compliant is essential. To ensure that your company is in-line with GLBA, here are seven steps to follow, as well as how Ostra can help protect your data. 

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB Act or GLBA) is a set of laws that financial institutions must keep up with if they want to avoid serious penalties. Enacted in 1999, GLBA is a federal act that controls how financial institutions deal with individuals’ private information

GLBA consists of three distinct sections that financial institutions be careful to follow:

  • The Financial Privacy Rule – Regulates the collection and disclosure of private financial information
  • The Safeguards Rule – Stipulates that financial institutions must implement security programs to protect such information
  • The Pretexting Provisions – Prohibit the practice of pretexting (accessing private information using false pretenses)

In addition, GLBA requires that financial institutions give their customers a written privacy notice that explains in detail their information-sharing practices.

GLBA Compliance Checklist

1. Understand GLBA and How it Affects Your Organization

First and foremost, it’s crucial that you review GLBA in its entirety. Many business owners will sit down with a lawyer and review the act in detail. This will help you gain a better understanding of how it applies to your financial institution. Understanding is always the first step towards compliance.

2. Conduct a Robust Risk Assessment

It’s important to understand where your financial institution currently sits as it pertains to GLBA compliance. The best way to do this is to work with an external examiner that can help you pinpoint where any GLBA-related weaknesses reside.

3. Identify and Improve Upon Your Internal Controls (Working With a SaaS Provider)

Whether you’ve failed a GLBA compliance test in the past or want to ensure you pass your first one, working with an experienced cybersecurity SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) provider is one of the best ways to do so. A quality SaaS provider will be able to install cybersecurity software that can effectively check all the boxes of GLBA compliance.

For a smoother process of achieving GLBA compliance—and improving your internal controls—working with a team like Ostra is a must.

4. Put in Place Roadblocks for “Insider Threats”

While outside threats like cybercriminals and hackers should always be considered when creating a robust cybersecurity plan that covers GLBA compliance, they are far from the only ones you need to be worried about.

Employees accidentally or even maliciously comprising your customers’ or clients’ financial information is an even bigger threat. To ensure you avoid insider threats to your organization, be thorough in your employee recruitment and filter out potential security risks. Also, keep your employees up-to-date on the latest security best practices.

5. Make Sure All Your Service Providers Are GLBA Compliant

If you rely on any service providers to help carry out your own service for your customers or clients, you should ensure that they are GLBA compliant as well. Never assume that they are, and make sure that they provide proof that they are safe to work with.

6. Review and Revise Your Privacy Rule Requirements to Ensure Compliance

To meet the privacy rule requirements, you must provide customers with a “clear and conspicuous” privacy notice that describes in detail what information is collected and for what purpose. In some instances, you’ll also need to provide an annual disclosure to customers. If you’re failing to meet those requirements, revise your privacy rule requirements.

7. Assess and Update Your Disaster Recovery Plan

GLBA also requires an incident response plan. So, make sure you have an IT disaster recovery and business continuity plan in place to show that you have all the precautions in place to mitigate a disaster.

How Ostra Can Help Your Organization Achieve GLBA Compliance

It’s normal to feel stressed about ensuring your business is compliant with all these regulations. At Ostra, we regularly work with financial groups to help secure their provide data, and we how to fast track the process of becoming compliant with the Gramm Leach Bliley Act. By simply implementing Ostra within your system, you’ll be well on your way to achieving compliance. We’ll fill in any of the gaps to ensure your clients’ information is protected. That’s our promise.

To protect your customer data and improve your data security, contact us today.

Financial Sector is the Most Targeted During Pandemic

Cybercriminals are attacking businesses like never before, and they have way more of an interest in the financial services sector than in past years. The pandemic has caused difficult financial situations for many, that includes cybercriminals too, which is why they have their targets locked on the most lucrative sector.

Remote work is part of the reason for the sudden spike in financial sector related cyberattacks. Experts highlighted remote access inefficiencies, due to the increase in the number of people working from home, as the greatest security challenge. They also mentioned virtual private network (VPN) vulnerabilities as another security challenge. These are challenges for every business but especially for remote workers in the financial sector, who must protect more sensitive information.

The financial sector was the most commonly targeted sector, receiving 51% of attacks. This was followed by healthcare (35%), professional services (35%) and retail (31%).

Because organizations in the financial services industry are entrusted with highly valuable and personally identifiable information, they are an attractive target for cybercriminals. Businesses in the financial sector have the most valuable information for cybercriminals. Such as social security numbers, bank information, insurance information, names, contact information, and addresses. All this personally identifiable information can sell for a high price on the black market.

A cybersecurity company has reported a 238% increase in cyberattacks between February and April 2020. With the financial sector receiving a majority of pandemic attacks, a cybersecurity solution is essential in the fight against cybercrime.

Protect your business from the rapid increase in cyberattacks on the financial industry

Ostra is your cyber-security-solution that offers a 360 degree, 24/7 protection that works seamlessly in the background, protecting sensitive data and communications at every access point. We offer a secure VPN connection to protect your remote workers. We also offer email protection, to protect against one of the financial sectors’ biggest threats, phishing scams.

Want to find out more? Visit Ostra.net or contact us today at protection@ostra.net


Financial Sector Cybersecurity Spending Up 15% in 2020

Banks and other financial service-related businesses are spending 15% more this year to defend against cybercrime.  The pandemic and remote working are influencing this change in spending, and the number will keep increasing, a survey found.

The average spending per employee in 2019 was $2,337. That number has increased to $2,691 per employee in 2020. For example, a company like Wells Fargo with thousands of employees is paying $850 million annually on cybersecurity. This change is due to the increased need for effective cybersecurity that can defend against cyberthreats no matter where the employee is located. The financial services industry on average pays the most per cyberattack than any other industry.

The financial services industry takes in the highest cost from cybercrime at an average of $18.3 million per company surveyed. (Accenture)

Since the financial sector is one of the most targeted it makes sense that overall cybersecurity spending has only increased in the last 5 years. The sector has also been the most targeted sector in the last few years as well.

Improve your cybersecurity without breaking the bank

With cybersecurity spending only going to increase nationally in the next years, it is important for your business to keep systems up-to-date and secure. Ostra is a software solution that knits together the top security solutions in the industry. We leverage known platforms such as FireEye and Palo Alto, to create a sphere of protection for your business and employees, no matter where they are located or what machine they are on.

Comprehensive cybersecurity made simple & affordable.

Want to find out more? Visit Ostra.net or contact us today at protection@ostra.net


The Biggest Cyberattacks on the Financial Services Industry

The financial services industry is one of the most targeted out of all industries for cybercriminals. It is the most lucrative industry for cybercriminals to attack, which is why it is the most important to defend. These are a few of the biggest cyberattacks in recent years.

The Capital One Data Breach

In March of 2019, a hacker gained access to the Capital One server by a misconfigured firewall. The hacker could access credit card applications all the way back to 2005. It took Capital One 4 months to detect the breach. In July of 2019, Capital One found that a former tech worker gained access through the vulnerability and had been stealing data since March.

What was exposed?

According to Capital One, 140,000 social security numbers and 80,000 bank accounts were leaked in the United States. Over 1 million Canadian social insurance numbers were also exposed. The exposed data cost Capital One, hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

How they could have prevented it?

Experts agree that this attack was very preventable if Capital One had correctly configured their firewall and ensured there were no vulnerabilities. A cybersecurity program like Ostra helps prevent data breaches by always running seamlessly in the background and protecting all digital entry points. Ostra detects and responds immediately to any threat.

The First American Financial Corporation Breach

Last May, the website for First American Financial Corp. was breached by hackers. The breach occurred due to an error in the backend of their website, specifically in the document management system, making it easy for any hacker to access. Being a financial company, their servers are full of private and extremely sensitive information dating back years.

What was exposed?

It is reported that the data breach exposed over 885 million financial records related to real estate deals. All the way back to 2003, that’s 18 years of sensitive information. These documents were made viewable to absolutely anyone. The leaked documents included emails, phone numbers, names, addresses, and financial information.

How could they have prevented it?

Penetration tests conducted by First American found this vulnerability in 2018 but failed to prioritize the fix for it. The company failed to patch any weaknesses, and they really paid for it. Not only did this breach cost them millions in damages, but they could be facing steep fines for rule violation by financial regulators. First American could have prevented this issue if they acted immediately instead of waiting to secure their weak spots. Websites are a huge vulnerability for the financial services industry, as they are the gateway to data breaches like this one.

Ostra’s cybersecurity solution can prevent weak spots from being exposed. Ostra allows systems to update & patch automatically with no business interruption or end-user engagement needed.

Want to find out more? Visit Ostra.net or contact us today at protection@ostra.net