Obviously a big part of avoiding a cyberattack is understanding how hackers think, how they find vulnerabilities in your systems, and how they exploit system weaknesses. When you understand the multitude of ways they can do harm and how cybersecurity can help, then you can ensure you are safeguarding yourself, your family, and your business.

Sadly, hackers are always finding new ways to hone their craft, and since there is a constant influx of new technology, it is important to stay current on the latest trends and protections. Thus, let’s start at the very beginning by defining cybersecurity.


Also known as IT security, cybersecurity refers to the act of protecting internet-connected systems, critical data, and other digital assets from potential cyberthreats—threats that may attempt to exploit sensitive information, steal funds, or disrupt normal business operations. In other words, cybersecurity consists of the strategies implemented to help protect people, processes, and technology from cyberattacks and related losses.

The various components of cybersecurity you should understand include the following:

  • Data security: involves the controls that shield sensitive information from leakage, misuse, or destruction as a result of data breaches or other exfiltration incidents.
  • Endpoint security: entails the policies and procedures utilized to guard a network’s endpoints—desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices—in real time from malicious activities that may occur across bandwidths and geographic areas.
  • Cloud security: pertains to the solutions deployed to defend cloud-based systems, assets, and infrastructure from possible cyberthreats.
  • Application security: encompasses the protocols used to minimize application vulnerabilities and prevent important information stored within such applications from being stolen or otherwise harmed.
  • Network security: comprises the preventive and defensive tools that shield networks, as well as their associated assets and users, from unauthorized infiltration.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) security: entails the measures introduced to monitor and remediate cyberthreats found on IoT devices—those that gather, store, and share information by means of an internet connection.
  • Critical infrastructure security: involves the tactics used to protect technology and other assets that perform or contribute to functions deemed vital to a community, its economy, and public health and safety.
  • Identity security: pertains to the steps taken to defend organizational identities—both human and machine generated—from being compromised.

Absolutely. As our reliance on technology and other digital services increases, our exposure to cyberthreats also increases. Even one cyberattack can carry serious consequences—including damaged data and systems, prolonged business disruptions, exponential ransom demands, diminished customer loyalty, lost revenue, and potential regulatory concerns amid strengthening cybersecurity laws.
By adopting cybersecurity procedures, you can keep digital risks at bay, reduce the likelihood of attacks, and mitigate potential damage if such attacks do arise. In turn, you can maintain smooth operations with minimal disruptions or financial loss and keep your club member’s confidential information safe.

Set up Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) on all devices.

MFA is probably one of the simplest measures you can take with the biggest impact. In short, it is a method that requires users to provide two or more identity verification factors before getting access to an account, such as a password, smartphone, and/or fingerprint/facial recognition. Once enabled, if a hacker obtains a user’s login credentials, they are still unable to access the account without the second factor (e.g., smartphone access or fingerprint/facial recognition).

MFA is so easy to use it should be enabled everywhere—on all devices, critical applications, and services—and most certainly for any user with administrative power. Be sure to make MFA mandatory for all employees on their work devices and accounts to provide protection for your members and your business in general.

Instead of using text- or email-based authentication, opt for an authenticator app like Duo Mobile or Google Authenticator. These apps can generate a more secure code or even use your fingerprint or facial recognition to log in, which adds an extra layer of security and substantially reduces your risk.

MFA is a step you can implement today that makes it much harder for attackers to access your systems and network.

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About the Author
Brad Preston is a client advisor at World Insurance Associates (World) specializing in the Sports industry. Prior to World, he spent more than 20 years at Advanced Event Systems and SportsEngine where he worked closely with the JVA and other member clubs in the volleyball space. He is well versed in club operations, staff, and member management, and most importantly, the use of technology and its inherent cyber risks. The JVA and World have partnered together to bring JVA Members educational articles and content to help you learn about your unique cyber risks and exposures, and how to better protect your businesses, members, and families in general. Feel free to reach out to Brad directly with any questions at bradpreston@worldinsurance.com