Cybersecurity for Everyone


Cyber risks are ever-present in our day-to-day lives and they continue to grow rapidly. Hackers take advantage of constantly evolving technology to find new ways to access the private data of major companies.

For companies, it is less expensive to invest in cybersecurity than it is to clean up after a data breach. Without adequate levels of cybersecurity, companies not only experience the cost of a data breach, but also a loss of reputation and drop in stock prices.

Cyber risks can affect all forms of technology. Employees should understand security issues and how their behaviors can increase or reduce security risks.

What Companies Should Do

While an IT department can use evolving technologies to stop advanced attacks, human factors are really the key to protecting companies’ data. Simply throwing more money and resources at cybersecurity is not the answer. What is most important is to create a culture of cybersecurity at work and make cybersecurity everyone’s business. To truly reduce their cyber risks, companies must work towards being proactive rather than reactive.

Ensuring security measures is not solely the responsibility of the security team. The change should start at the top and cybersecurity should be considered an integral part of business. Companies should provide ongoing cybersecurity education and training to their employees and enforce effective security policies.

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What Employees Should Do

Research shows that the biggest risk is employee negligence.  Effective cybersecurity requires the involvement of everyone all the time.  Employees are the company’s first firewall. Technology and law enforcement are all important, but employees need to adhere to security policies.

While ongoing employee education, training, and reviews are very important for cybersecurity at work, the focus should be on individual responsibility. Employees must follow basic practices to protect the company and its data. Every employee needs to know about online security and start with the tools they use every day. In actuality, putting time and attention into cyber security is more convenient than it seems. The key is to follow some basic tips.


Basic Tips

Develop strong passwords and change passwords often. Employees tend to use the same password for everything. Eliminating weak or redundant passwords is the first step employees should take. One employee’s weak password has the potential to compromise, not only the company’s data, but also the data of those serviced by the company.

Think twice before logging on to an open Wi-Fi network. Many employees travel frequently for business. If connecting to a public Wi-Fi network is absolutely necessary, use a VPN.

Think before you click. Phishing emails don’t always come from strangers. Often they can come from friends and colleagues. If you receive a request for sensitive information, contact the sender by phone to confirm. Check the display name to see if the domain matches the name. In a fraudulent email, these will not match. Hover over links to fully read domains exchanged through email.

Keep your applications updated. Sometimes employees are just lazy and choose convenience over security. Employees can get annoyed by reminders to update their applications because they think these updates are just optional. These updates are to ensure necessary security features, which make it harder for hackers to attack.


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How I Succeeded on My Path to Becoming an Actuary and How you Can too

We invited CAS member Carlo Lahura, ACAS, to share his advice on being a successful actuarial student. Carlo is an expert in this subject, as he was able to graduate with a 3.8/4.0 GPA, held five actuarial internships, served five terms as actuarial club president, and passed 7 actuarial exams, all while earning his university degree!


My name is Carlo, and I graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2017 as Valedictorian with a wealth of experience on my resume. I currently work with EY’s P&C practice in Chicago as an Actuarial Consultant.

After having talked with numerous other successful graduates who managed to balance large commitments, as well as reflecting back on my own university experience, I believe the following 3 mindsets are crucial for ensuring your wild university success:

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Your success is proportional to how much you’re willing to sacrifice. I sacrificed nearly my entire social life in university to accomplish what I did. I will NEVER regret that.

I found that making an impact on the lives of thousands of people through my 5 club Presidencies was more meaningful and fun to me than traditional socializing. I still socialized within extracurricular activities – with my team members.

Extracurricular activities gave me some of the most amazing life experiences I’ve had thus far and I’ve met some of my closest friends through there. Absolutely zero regrets.

Think hard on how large you want your success to be, and be ready to sacrifice an amount proportional to it.

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Failure is one of the greatest successes we can have in life:

  • I was rejected over 100 times for my first non-actuarial internship.
  • I’ve struck out at networking sessions more times than I can count.
  • I was rejected by EY actuarial at the interview stage in my junior year.

Look – failures are not failures UNLESS we don’t learn from them. Avoiding failure usually leads to engaging only in low-risk endeavors (low risk of failure), which are guaranteed to be outperformed by high-risk endeavors in the long-term.

The most successful people I’ve seen are the ones who keep on aiming high and, when they inevitably fail, they learn what went wrong and try again, 5 times harder.

I’ve learned from every one of my failures. They are the main reason why I got to where I am today.



How do you get back up when life knocks you down? Easy. You need to know what your WHY is.

You need to ask yourself what drives you!!! Do you want to make your parents proud? Do you have something you want to prove?

You need to seriously think about why you are doing what you’re doing.

We don’t get to choose when we get knocked down in life. But we sure do have the choice of getting back up or not.

When life knocks me down, I choose to get back up every single time. No matter how much it hurts. No matter how difficult it is.

Why? I get back up because my WHY is that I want to make a true impact in the world. I will grind for my entire life until this goal becomes a reality.

Remember this: life cannot beat what doesn’t give up.

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I want to make it clear that I don’t believe I am a “special” actuary. As long as the passion, ambition, and commitment is there, ANYONE can do what I did, and even more.

Well, I hope that helped! Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn (I have several popular in-depth articles there on how to achieve success in various areas) and/or Instagram (@actuarial.motivation). I am very active on both platforms, and would love to hear from you there!

All the best in your endeavors!
Carlo Lahura, ACAS

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