Cyber Risk Bulletin

Your business is in the crosshairs. Cyber criminals are testing your defenses, searching for weaknesses. Their goal is to compromise your network, wipeout your backups, and encrypt your systems and data. Are you ready? Last year, over 187 million ransomware attacks were detected—by one security firm alone.1 Most ransomware attacks will fail, but the ones that succeed are increasingly vicious.

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What is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Multi-factor authentication refers to the use of two or more means of identification and access control—sometimes referred to as “something you know, something you have, or something you are.” A username and password, for example, is something you know. Requiring a code sent via text message (SMS) establishes “something you have,” i.e., a mobile phone belonging to you. Biometric authentication, through a fingerprint or retina scan, establishes “something you are.” Multi-factor authentication is successfully enabled when at least two of these categories of identification are required in order to successfully verify a user’s identity when accessing systems. 

Multi-Factor Authentication for Remote Network Access

Requiring multi-factor authentication for remote network access is an important security control that can help reduce the potential for a network compromise caused by lost or stolen passwords. Without this control an intruder can gain access to an insured’s network in a similar manner to an authorized user.

Multi-Factor Authentication for Privileged/Administrative Access

Requiring multi-factor authentication for both remote and internal access to administrative accounts helps to prevent intruders that have compromised an internal system from elevating privileges and obtaining broader access to a compromised network. The existence of this control can prevent an intruder from gaining the level of access necessary to successfully deploy ransomware across the network.

Multi-Factor Authentication for Remote Access to Email

Requiring multi-factor authentication for remote access to email can help reduce the potential for a compromise to corporate email accounts caused by lost or stolen passwords. Without this control an intruder can easily gain access to a users corporate email account. Threat actors often use this access to perpetrate various cybercrime schemes against the impacted organization and its clients and customers. 

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Management Liability – Risk Drivers

In today’s business environment organizations of all sizes are facing increased risks. Several factors, including the increased likelihood of being sued which is at a historically high level, have impacted losses within various coverage lines. Now more than ever the protection offered by Travelers is needed.

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