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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Is Paying Cyber Ransom a Crime?

 By Catherine Powell

As scary as having hackers demand you pay a cyber ransom or have your data destroyed, what's even scarier is the act of paying up could put you in Dutch with federal law.  As of October 2020, the US Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) made it illegal to pay hackers a ransom. That's right, if you're found in violation of either the Trading With the Enemy Act or the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, you could face stiff penalties including fines and/or jail.  What's even more alarming is that the very banks you do business with are required to file a Suspicious Activity Report should an individual or company be suspected of attempting to move funds of $5,000 or more that could be potentially used to pay hackers a ransom.  

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Does Your Business Need Cyber Insurance?

By Catherine Powell

Image courtesy Pixabay
You can't watch the news, read a business magazine or peruse a newsfeed without learning about a new cyber-attack.  You'll either find that another form of malware has reared its ugly head or you'll learn that another Fortune 500 Company has been hacked.  Sorry to say it, but cyber liability has not only reached epidemic proportions,  it doesn't just effect big businesses.  In 2020, the average cost to small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) whose computers were infected with viruses and malware was $68,000 per incident.  Targeted attacks cost the average business $188,000 to mitigate.  What's even worse is that 70% of all cyber attacks in 2020 targeted SMBs.  That's because they're easier to breach with off-the-shelf hacking tools.  (That's right, hackers can buy sophisticated hacking software on the Dark Web.) If you own a business and are tired of losing sleep over the possibility of being hacked, here's what you need to know.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

10 Ways to Keep the Ghost of COVID-19 from Killing Your Halloween Spirit

 By Catherine Powell

     With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I’d take the time to cover ten ways you can keep you and yours safe while trick or treating.  While Halloween is supposed to be scary, the advent of COVID-19 has made the holiday more frightening than usual.  Since no children below the age of 12 have been inoculated, and not all older kids and adults have either, this year’s Halloween events need to be scrutinized like never before.  

Thursday, October 7, 2021

What You Need to Know Before You Host Your Next House Party

By Catherine Powell

Image courtesy Pixabay

After being held in limbo due to Covid-19 for better than a year and a half, many homeowners are considering hosting parties this holiday season.  With Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, I thought I’d take the time to clue you into the potential liability issues you need to understand before you host your next house party.

The Real Cost of a DUI Charge

 By Catherine Powell Image courtesy of Pixabay Last month I covered the costs incurred when a driver gets a traffic citation.  This month I ...