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Protecting Yourself From Cybercriminals

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It was the Great Train Robbery of our era, and had all the suspense and precision that will, no doubt, make for a tremendous summer blockbuster.

Working with stolen information, a far flung network of hackers, and a farther flung network of street teams, cybercriminals stole $45 million from ATMs within hours, $2.5 million alone in New York City, walking to each ATM down Broadway, plus a cluster of machines on the east side of Manhattan.

I'd like to take a break from offering up money-making ideas to something equally important: protecting the money you already have. We now live in an age where Butch and Sundance have been completely replaced by a new breed of criminals who use the Internet and stolen information and, in the blink of an eye, can steal what you have taken a lifetime to earn.


And get this, according to Marc Kramer, founder of Radnor, Pa.-based Commercial Deposit Insurance Agency: courtesy of something called Regulation E of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, business, nonprofit and trust bank accounts are not subject to the same protections as individual bank accounts when it comes to cyberthefts. While in many cases it seems your recourse as a consumer is somewhat murky, as a business or a trust they are unequivocal -- your deposits are not protected.

As you might expect, cybercrime is on the rise. There were approximately 290,000 complaints last year, and total losses were up 8.3% from a year ago.

One of the best ways to protect yourself if you own a small business or oversee or have trust accounts is to buy an emerging breed of insurance designed to protect you should the cybercriminals take aim at your assets.

Maybe you can profit from cybercrime as well. On my radio show recently, Joe Besecker, chief executive of Emerald Asset Management, said he likes Sourcefire (FIRE), which he believes is on the front lines of corporate and government cybersecurity. He said that for the year to date the stock has been up more than 20% but may hit a few bumps in the road as government spending contracts under the federal government sequestration.


He also noted Verizon (VZ) is the top spender on upgrading and securing its wireless network and, in addition, is working closely with the government on several Internet security issues.

Joe added, "It's only a matter of time until something big happens to show us how important this is. When it comes to cyber security, we all need to be like the Boy Scouts and be prepared."

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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