When I think of a hacker I picture someone hunched over a desk in a dark room, dressed all in black, trying to breach the security of a large company or government agency. How could it possibly be worth a hacker going after a NH small business? That just seems.... boring. However it may be the fact that it is so easy to hack into a small business, that it makes the task worthwhile and ultimately costing the business owner his or her very livelihood.
Facts on Cyber Security for Small Businesses:
- According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), theft of digital information has become the most commonly reported fraud and has surpassed physical theft.
- According to Info Security Magazine, the average cost from a cyber-attack to small and mid-sized businesses in North America was more than $80,000.
- Loss of business, reputation and customer confidence is immeasurable.
- According to the US Secret Service and Verizon Communications Inc., more than 72% of all data breaches occurred in small to mid-sized businesses.
5 Tips for Small Businesses to Prevent Cyber Attacks:
1. Train employees in cyber security
Establish security practices for employees which include the requirement of strong passwords, appropriate internet usage and penalties for violating such policies. Management should also establish rules for employees handling confidential customer data.
2. Protect information, computers and networks from cyber attacks
Keep machines up-to-date with the latest security software, web browser and operating system updates. Set anti-virus software to run a scan after each update. Ensure all staff members are installing key software updates as soon as available.
3. Provide firewall security for your internet connection
A firewall is a program that prevents outsiders from accessing data on a private network. Make sure that it is enabled on every machine including staff that may work from home.
4. Create a mobile device plan
Mobile devices can create huge security challenges, especially if they hold confidential information or can access a corporate network. Require users to password protect each device, encrypt their data and install security apps to prevent a criminal from stealing information while the phone is on a public network. Make sure to have a reporting procedure if mobile equipment is lost or stolen.
5. Make back-up copies of important business information and data
Be sure to regularly back up data on all computers, including word documents, spreadsheets, financials, and human resources files. Have this process automated if possible, or at least weekly. Be sure to store the data offsite or in a cloud.
These tips are a great way to lower the chances of your small business from being attacked by a hacker, but like anything, it is not perfect. For the unexpected, you can always cross your fingers and hope nothing happens, or you can buy Cyber Liability Insurance.
Why Every Small Business Needs Cyber Liability Insurance:
1. Most commercial policies do not automatically cover loss due to cyber liability.
2. The cost to your business for having your data breached is in the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. The cost of a cyber-liability policy is a tiny fraction of that.
3. The frequency of small businesses being hacked into is increasing every year.
You wouldn't think about not having a smoke detector in your building. Cyber-attacks, though silent, can be just as costly as a fire. Take the time to protect yourself and your small business.
This material is for informational purposes only. All statements herein are subject to the provision, exclusions and conditions of the applicable policy. For an actual description of all coverages, terms and conditions, refer to the insurance company.