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Essential precautions to take with cyber security

RCS October Influencer Trent Cotney 2023
October 30, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.

RCS Influencer Trent Cotney says that changing your passwords and getting a cyber security consultant is key to protecting your company's data.

Editor's note: The following is a transcript of a conversation between Megan Ellsworth, our multimedia manager, and Trent Cotney, partner of Adams and Reese. You can listen to the interview or read the transcript below.

Megan Ellsworth: Alright, hello everyone. My name is Megan Ellsworth here at RoofersCoffeeshop.com. Back again for an influencer interview and today I'm with Trent Cotney. Hi Trent!

Trent Cotney: Hey, how you doing? It's good to see you again.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, good to see you too. Excited to chat all things cybersecurity today. So this month's topic is obviously cybersecurity, owning your data. And the question is, what are you seeing with data protection, including cyber insurance, data retention, working with software providers to keep your data secure?

Trent Cotney: Yeah, so cyber theft, ransomware, all that type of stuff continues to be a huge problem and hackers are getting more and more sophisticated. Everybody is getting the phishing emails, they're constantly trying to break into your system and either get access to passwords or financial data or whatever it might be. So it's important that you really take it seriously and there's some, you know, self-help things that you can do everything from, you know, limiting access to certain, you know, customer privacy type data.

Making sure that you're safeguarding your employees confidential information. Changing you know changing your passwords, you know looking into cyber security Consultants that could potentially you know audit what you're doing and make some suggestions It's worth investing in that kind of stuff because all it takes is one incident and you'll spend more than an entire year of what that cost to be.

Now cyber insurance, this premium has increased dramatically. I remember when I was buying cyber insurance, it was a few thousand bucks, it was a big deal. I remember one year, it was probably three or four years ago, it doubled. I was like, oh, okay. And then it doubled again. I was like, oh, okay. And the reason is that there's just such, it's just so rampant right now. The other thing that we're seeing a lot of is wire fraud that is done through electronic means, people taking over your outlook or whatever, mimicking your email, and then sending false wire instructions.

Very dangerous. A lot of times it's hard to recoup that money and the bank won't give it back to you either. So, really need to be very cautious about wires. I always recommend that you pick up the phone and confirm the details with a live person rather than just an email because a lot of these really sophisticated hackers are just in the background waiting for a big score. But yeah, it is a systemic problem and it requires constant alertness and just being aware.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, excellent advice, especially with the wire. I actually, that happened to me a couple of years ago. Um, and I did not, the bank did not refund it. Obviously the people that stole it didn't give it back. Um, that is just so rampant right now. Um, how do you, you said you suggest people, you know, pick up the phone. Are there, are there any other pieces of advice to secure, you know, people's data? Maybe what cyber security insurance companies people should go with?

Trent Cotney: Yeah, you know, there's a lot of internal protections that you can do. We've gone way past your normal virus scanner. There are so many, everything from two-step authentication to data security keys. They're switching now. I read where Google's moving away from passwords and they're gonna either use fingerprints or facial identification because it's harder, I guess, to get rid of. What's interesting is the hackers are so- I think about our credit cards, for example, right? We all switched to chip and pin because that's what Europe was doing and it was supposed to be more secure. So it's actually less secure.

The hackers these days, they walk by with this device. They can just walk right by you and pick up all your information. It's not from the actual chip that's in the card, but there's another chip that's in there that sends this information. You know, I was watching this podcast on it and they said, you know, they were asked how successful it is. They said, six out of 10 times, I'm going to grab your information. So it's stunning, you know, for every measure that we figure out, they're already ahead of us as far as countermeasures. So it just requires constant vigilance and, you know, really limiting who has access to what, the more chances there are that bad guys can get to it.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, so true. Well said. And I know everyone hates the two-step fact, two-factor authentication. It's so annoying, but it really does. It can make a difference in keeping your information secure.

Trent Cotney: Yep, absolutely. Definitely recommend it.

Megan Ellsworth: Awesome! Well, thank you so much for chatting with me today and I'll be chatting with you next month.

Trent Cotney: Sounds great, looking forward to it.

Megan Ellsworth: Awesome. That was great.

Trent Cotney is a partner and Construction Practice Group Leader at the law firm of Adams and Reese LLP and NRCA General Counsel. See his full bio here.

The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.



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