The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, in partnership with the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, focused on cybersecurity, how to avoid becoming a victim of scams, and some best practices to protect your business and employees in the fifth installment of its “Twenty-Minute Tuesdays” series this week.
The new edition of the monthly online Q&A video series, which provides local businesses and nonprofit organizations access to the Bank’s team of experts, debuted March 9. The series is hosted by Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross.
Maeghan DeLellis, Vice President, Branch Manager and Small Business Specialist at The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, and Paul Forni, Vice President, Information Security and Red Flags Officer, joined Northcross. Forni outlined the best defenses for business owners to prevent cyberattacks. He stated that there is no one magic bullet when it comes to cybersecurity, but best practices include a combination of the following three controls: Technical Controls, such as firewalls, antivirus, and data loss protection software; Administrative Controls, including updating your security updates regularly; and Education and Training, such as understanding phishing and how criminals target employees.
“Phishing has gone up over 600 percent since the beginning of the pandemic,” Forni said. He stressed the importance of creating strong passwords and changing them periodically to safeguard customer data and information. “Don’t use the same password for a number of applications. Don’t write down passwords and leave them unsecured. And if you’re going to write them down, store them someplace safe.”
DeLellis discussed common issues business owners have with banking technology and keeping their employees and businesses safe, particularly with the increase in remote work and unemployment fraud. She advised business owners to monitor their accounts and set up alerts. Additionally, she cautioned employers not to share account usernames and passwords with employees and to establish separate credentials with any employees needing bank account access as part of their job function.
DeLellis also offered additional cybersecurity resources for business owners. For example, she cited The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod’s website, mycapecodbank.com, and the Resources tab, with links to videos and the Security Center as a place for business owners to start educating themselves on cybersecurity. Additionally, she cited the Code of Massachusetts Regulation for data privacy (201 CMR 17,) which sets the standard for the protection of personal information of residents, found on mass.gov. Other resources included the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Homeland Security (US-CERT), SCORE Training, and SBA resources. The video concluded with a link to a “Cybersecurity Risk Assessment” to evaluate a businesses’ online safety.
Additional information about The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod’s services and offerings can be found at: www.mycapecodbank.com.
Each prerecorded Q&A session can be viewed on the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce landing page at http://bit.ly/20MinuteTuesdays.
Local business owners or representatives of nonprofit organizations who would like to submit questions in advance can be done via the Chamber’s landing page.