Cyber Security for you and your Family

Cyber crime is big business; its growing fast and high net worth individuals are easy targets. In this Tanager Talk, Rory Innes, Head of Cyber Security for Salamanca Group, a Merchant Banking and operational risk management business, provides pragmatic advice on how to keep yourself and your family safe online.

The Cyber Threat

According to Rory, cyber crime cost the global economy $445 billion in 2013. In the last 12 months, data breaches rose over 62% and targeted attacks over 91%. An estimated 800 million individuals have been affected.

In recent years, organised criminal gangs have taken over from the amateurs and they are focussing more and more on high net worth individuals because these individuals have lots of money, lots to lose and much less security in place when compared to corporations. In short, targeting HNW individuals delivers better ROI. And its not just criminal gangs who target individuals; employees and advisors, journalists, competitors, ‘hacktivists’ and even nation states can all be involved.

To achieve their aims, cyber criminals employ a variety of tactics that target people, technology and process.  People are attacked through social engineering attempts either by email (phishing), phone or physical access. Our growing use of technology makes us increasingly vulnerable to being hacked. Cyber blackmail and ransom attacks from malicious software were up 300% in the last 12 months. And if a cyber criminal learns about your families processes, that knowledge can be used against you as well.

How to Protect Yourself Online

Rory emphasizes that “good cyber protection is not all about technology”. Education is key. The first step is to think about the information you are trying to protect, where it is and the impact of a loss. After that, it is a good idea to have a professional conduct an Individual and Family Cyber Security Review that will cost about the equivalent of a first class flight. The review should identify threats and vulnerabilities across people, technology and processes and suggest ways to improve your families’ cyber security posture being mindful of the high usability requirements in the home environment.

Rory concludes the interview with 10 useful tips for staying safe online:

  1. Use strong passwords – not all the same and not in a dictionary
  2. Back up your data
  3. Install software updates – once hackers see the updates, they target the weaknesses
  4. Maximise what you have – most devices and services come with security and privacy settings. Use them.
  5. Turn on encryption capability – if someone gets access to your devices, they can’t make sense of the information
  6. Check that your antivirus is set up correctly
  7. Be wary of unusual emails – If it looks suspicious, don’t open it
  8. Use secure connections and look out for fake hotspots – especially in hotels, airports and marinas
  9. Educate yourself and your family – Get Safe Online is a good tool.
  10. Think about physical access and keep your devices out of sight when at home and outside.

To get the full benefit of Rory’s advice, you can listen to the complete interview below and in iTunes Podcasts by searching for TanagerWealth.

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