We are all relying more on cyber technology to run our lives and our businesses. And that’s not likely to change any time soon. Cyber dependency is touted as one of the most important trends in global development in the next decade. With the migration to these technically advanced tools tools comes the need to secure them as well as the information they contain.
A breach can happen to any company. Experts say upwards of 1 in 5 businesses are affected by this problem.
It happens in a variety of ways. Here are a few things to note:
- Mobile devices (ones owned by the company or by employees) can easily be infected with malware from free hotspots
- Humans are the weakest link. We unknowingly perform tasks that link thieves to our sensitive information
The threat is real. Any use of technology puts you at risk for compromised digital information. Should a breach occur you may be required to pay for any financial loss as a result of the breach. This could include costs to secure legal counsel in order to comply with notification laws, credit monitoring and regulatory defense of penalties. Also think reputation damage, business interruption costs, supply chain disruption and the list goes on.
Another variable is many aspects of technology are out of your control. Businesses of all sizes use third party partners yet you may still be liable for breach to a system which affects you and people you do business with.
Instead of having the burden of these unexpected expenses, you can work to systematically defend against known vulnerabilities with a cyber insurance policy. Protection against a cyber-attack is almost never covered in general policies. Many small to medium sized local businesses, charitable, faith based and educational organizations are at risk.
Local business owners tend to believe thieves go after large high profile companies like Target, TJ Maxx, Banks or the US Government. It’s easy to assume a small business, service oriented or faith based organizations are undesirable to thieves and are therefore not at risk. However, small businesses and non-profits are often the primary target for a growing group of cyber predators.
- Small businesses are easier to crack than their larger counterparts
- Minimal effort, easy reward
- Smaller organizations know less about the need for cyber security
- Smaller businesses have fewer resources to guard against an attack
- Small businesses are less likely to be able to respond
- Damage can go undetected for long periods of time
Managing cyber security is part of doing business and sadly so is preparing for a breach. It deserves everyone’s attention, not just IT. Your insurance specialist should understand your industry and your business in order to evaluate exposure, assess risks and recommend the best coverage. Other factors such as size, the kind of activities you routinely perform online and third party technology partners are all important aspects of developing the right protection and impact the level of as well as the type of coverage you need.
Work with your agent to determine your vulnerabilities and need for coverage.
- Network security
- Data breach
- Privacy management
- Multimedia and third party damages