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Cybersecurity Awareness Checklist, Part 3: Software Updates

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Only use licensed patches and updates.

Congratulations! You’re halfway through the Alta Pro 2022 Cybersecurity Awareness Checklist. This post, the third in our four-part series, will focus on keeping your software and apps updated.

“Always keep your software updated when updates become available,” recommends the National institute of Standards and Technology. “Don’t delay. These updates fix general software problems and provide new security patches where criminals might get in. You can be sure the bad guys are always looking for new ways to get to your data through software, so updating your software is an easy way to stay a step ahead.”

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and Alta Pro created this Checklist to keep you safe and secure. NIST has identified four areas of emphasis for 2022:

  1. Enabling multi-factor authentication
  2. Using strong passwords and a password manager
  3. Updating software
  4. Recognizing and reporting phishing

Alta Pro’s Cybersecurity Awareness Checklist series will take a deep dive into each of the above-mentioned focus areas.

Alta Pro Insurance Services keeps you informed on cutting-edge issues that affect your practice. Every week the Pro Practice Blog posts timely and topical dispatches from the risk management front lines. We spot looming risks – like the possibilities and potential perils of cryptocurrency – and give you advance warning. We identify promising trends – like Micro Self-Care, Cybersecurity Ethics, and the One-Page Business Plan – and give you the inside scoop. We bring you live CLE webinars on topics you request, most recently “Managing a Law Practice in Uncertain Times.” Please let us know how we can help your professional practice minimize risk and maximize reward. We’re here for you.

Cybersecurity Awareness Checklist, Part 3
Software Updates

The following is from the National Institute of Standards and Technology:

  • Only use licensed, verified patches and updates. “Get it from the source. When downloading a software update, only get it from the company that created it. Never use a hacked, pirated or unlicensed versions of software (even if your friend gave it to you). These often contain malware and cause more problems than they solve.”
  • Make it automatic. “Software from legitimate companies usually provide an option to update your software automatically. When there’s an update available, it gives a reminder so you can easily start the process. If you can’t automatically update it, remind yourself to check quarterly if an update is available.”
  • Watch out for scams. “Maybe you’ve seen these pop-up windows when visiting a website or opening software that urgently asks you to download something or fill out a form? These are always fake and should not be followed. A browser will only warn you not to move forward or stay on a specific web address because it might not be secured or it could contain malware.”
  • Train your team on data privacy. “Integrating data privacy training into your onboarding process and general training programs is a first step. Implement free security tools available on the market such as VPNs, encrypted storage solutions, and password managers. You can reduce vulnerability with these tools that are relatively easy to install and operate.”
  • Monitor your network. “Be sure to monitor your network for suspicious activity and potential attacks. These breaches can happen to organizations of all sizes.”

CLICK HERE FOR PART 4 OF THE ALTA PRO 2022 CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS CHECKLIST: Phishing.

Do you practice in Wisconsin, Texas, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana or Michigan? Is your professional liability coverage managed through Alta Pro? If so, you’re automatically a member of the Alta Pro Risk Purchasing Group (RPG), which offers a wealth of benefits for your practice: free, cutting-edge CLE webinars featuring top experts tackling timely topics; the Pro Practice Playbook; the Pro Practice Blog; Reminger’s ProLink risk management assistance; Reminger’s Claim Repair Hotline; discounts on CLIO practice management software; tax savings on health insurance; and access to the Risk Pro, who can help keep your firm safe and successful. Register here and start enjoying your Alta Pro RPG benefits.

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