Cyber security events are on the rise. From malware to ransomware, businesses are at greater risk than ever from cyber attacks. Is your company protected?
Proper security requires a well-informed team, tight security protocols, and the right insurance. Here’s an overview of what you should know to be prepared for cyber threats to your operations.
Small business does not mean “small target”: Owners of small to midsized businesses (SMBs) often assume they’re under the radar of cyber hackers. In fact, SMBs are the target of 43% of cyber attacks. You may not have billions in profits to drain, but you have essential information hackers seek (such as health records), access through your network to reach larger companies, and files that are so key to your business you’d be willing to pay a ransom to get them back.
Ransomware has increased 300%: In this form of cyber terrorism, attackers hijack data and demand payment to unlock it. In 2016, an average of 4,000 ransomware attacks occurred each day. This is a 300% increase over 2015. As more and more businesses rely almost solely on digital files and processes, this form of cyber attack continues to grow.
Cyber attackers getting craftier: Business owners must stay one step ahead of cyber attacks. This is no easy task, since techniques are becoming more targeted and more cunning. One example, which is growing in leaps and bounds, is “spear-phishing,” defined by Google as “the fraudulent practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information.” An employee who opens this type of email opens your whole system (and those of your networks) to the attacker.
Cyber security requires a multifaceted approach: To safeguard your business against cyber attacks, you must shore up your defenses on all fronts. This includes:
- Networking equipment
- Desktop protection
- Privacy programs
- Data security
- Employee security training
- Business continuity
- Data recovery
- Cyber insurance
Cyber attacks can kill companies: The average cost of recovery from a cyber attack for SMBs is $36,000; even more frightening is that more than half of small to midsized businesses close their doors within six months of a cyber security event. The final cost includes more than just the cash outlay; it may damage your reputation, making it almost impossible to come back from the attack. It’s essential to have cyber insurance in place to assist you in recovering from the security breach and all that it entails.
Cyber insurance includes:
- Privacy liability – In case you fail to protect sensitive personal or corporate information.
- Payment card loss – In case you fail to properly manage payment card data.
- Data breach – If your data is breached, you will incur costs to retain legal services, notify those affected, and provide those people with credit monitoring services.
Don’t wait until an attack has occurred to take steps to protect your business. Consult with your insurance provider to establish the best policy to guard your business against this growing threat.