The Cowbell Factors Podcast is one of our passion projects. It unites the cybersecurity and the cyber insurance world by educating listeners on how to stay secure online and what to look for in a cyber insurance policy. After all, education is the best weapon we have against cybercrime. 

In last week’s episode, we learned new tricks and insights about cybersecurity from a very special guest: FBI John. John retired from the FBI after 20 years of service. There, he worked as an assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s “Phoenix division” where he oversaw all criminal, cyber, and counterintelligence investigations throughout the State of Arizona.  

Now, he makes it his mission to educate the public about cybercrime and, more importantly, how to protect yourself from it. 

During the episode, John sheds light on the time the FBI realized that the internet was becoming a real problem for them, not just in terms of big-scale terrorism, but also small cyber crime that affects most. 

“One of the biggest things you’ll find on the dark web is your information”, he explained in the Podcast. 

Trading sensitive information has become an immense business. And, with so many of us switching to remote work, this has become an even bigger issue. “Cyber criminals are having a heyday about us having to work remotely”, he explains. A lack of security measures, working in open Wifis, or using personal devices for work, all play a role in the immense increase in data theft. 

For small businesses, this can be detrimental. And we know now that small businesses are not excluded as targets from cyber criminals. In fact, the opposite is often the case. “If I’m looking to steal money, I’m going after the small business.”, FBI John explains. 

The reason is simple. Many small businesses don’t have sufficient cybersecurity measures set up to protect themselves against attacks. What makes this even more devastating is that, once small businesses are hacked once, they’ll most likely get hacked again through the same security gap. Big businesses generally make sure that those weaknesses need to be fixed by professionals immediately, but small businesses often don’t.

And incidents happen constantly. According to FBI John, the FBI receives about 22,000 reports a month from people who have been victims of cyber attacks. You can imagine that the actual number of victims will be much bigger.

“Cyber criminals having a heyday about us having to work remotely.”

But luckily, there are measures to take that can improve your cyber risk exposure. FBI John had many great tips, including a password keeper, MFA, and encryption services (which are easier to use than one would expect). He also explained the immense value of subscribing to credit monitoring services, locking your credit report, and – of course – getting a standalone cyber insurance policy. 

If you are interested in learning more about how to improve your cybersecurity posture, as well as valuable travel tips, an unusual fraud case involving mailbox theft and a bad check, and what to pay attention to when using cloud services, you can listen to this episode on most Podcast platforms (Spotify, Google podcast, Apple podcast, Anchor, Breaker, and Radio Public). 

This week’s episode went live today! Listen to Cowbell’s co-founder and CPO, Rajeev Gupta, when he talks about our Cowbell Factors and how our risk assessment can help every organization better understand their risk exposure.