No Business is Safe from Cyber Risks: What You Need to Know

No Business is Safe from Cyber Risks: What You Need to Know

Your business could be a cybercriminal’s next target. Cyber risks are increasing, and businesses of all sizes and in all industries are feeling the impact. Understand the risks so you can protect your business.

No Business Is Safe

Don’t assume that your business is too small to catch a cybercriminal’s eye. According to the NetDiligence 2018 Cyber Claims Study, an analysis of cyber claims revealed that 85 percent of claims were from smaller organizations.

Know the Threats

These are some of the most common cyber risks that could threaten your business:

  • Data Breaches: Personal data is a hot commodity on the black market. Cybercriminals are eager to get data, including names, email accounts, passwords, credit card numbers and Social Security Numbers.
  • Ransomware and Other Malware: Malicious malware can be used in a number of ways. Some programs display ads while others steal data. One of the most well-known types of malware is ransomware, a type of malicious program that encrypts data so that it can be held hostage unless the victim pays a ransom.
  • Denial of Service Attacks: This is a comm on type of attack in which a system is flooded with traffic until it crashes.
  • Phishing and Business Email Compromise: Not all cyberattacks rely on high-tech computer programs. In phishing and business email compromise attacks, people are tricked into providing sensitive information or making unauthorized payments.

Know What’s at Stake

According to the Better Business Bureau’s 2017 State of Cybersecurity Among Small Businesses in North America, the average loss from a cyberattack reported by a smaller business is $79,841. These are some of the ways your business could suffer after a cyberattack:

  • Business Interruption: Whether a system is down to a Denial of Service attack or a computer virus, the cyberattack can result in business interruption.
  • Reputational Damage: Consumers may blame a business for failing to prevent a data breach. A poor response can make the situation worse. This can result in distrust and damage to the company’s reputation.
  • Lawsuits and Regulatory Fines: Consumers who are impacted by a data breach could file a class-action lawsuit against your company. Additionally, your company may face regulatory fines. According to NetDiligence, the average legal defense cost is $106,000 and the average settlement is $224,000.
  • Breach Notification and Compensation: If a data breach occurs, you may be legally required to notify those impacted in a timely matter. This can take considerable resources. Additionally, you may need to pay for credit monitoring or other compensation.
  • Extortion: After a ransomware attack, many companies decide that paying the ransom is the only way to way to regain their files so they can resume business operations.

Take the Necessary Precautions

With the right precautions, you can minimize the risk of cyberattacks.

  1. Use Secure Systems. Having a secure system protected by strong passwords, firewalls, and antivirus software can prevent many attacks. Using up-to-date software is also important because security patches will address new threats as they are discovered. Files should be encrypted and backed up in case they fall into the wrong hands.
  2. Educate your workers. More than 90 percent of successful cyberattacks start as phishing emails, according to the Better Business Bureau’s 2017 State of Cybersecurity Among Small Businesses in North America. Train all workers on how to spot and avoid phishing attacks. Also educate workers on selecting strong passwords and keeping them safe, and on protecting portable devices that store sensitive data.
  3. Check your insurance coverage. Cybercriminals are constantly trying new methods to exploit hidden vulnerabilities. Although proper precaution can reduce the threat of a successful cyberattack, some risk remains. It’s important to have a good response plan, and this includes suitable insurance coverage. Cyber insurance is available as a separate policy.

Wilson, Washburn & Forster is a boutique independent insurance agency that has been in business since 1961.  We provide specialized business insurance services and can help you safeguard your company against cyber liability exposures. You will find that our experience, claims handling, service, and community commitment is unrivaled. 

Contact us today for a complimentary analysis of your current insurance program by an insurance specialist in this field at 786-454-8384.

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