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RE: Quick favor pls

“Jane,

I’m running late with this meeting. Can you pick up a couple $150 Amazon gift cards and send me the codes? Thx!

Tom”

Last December, I received an email very similar to this from one of our executives. It is not a completely ridiculous idea for me to run out and pick up gift cards when someone is in a crunch, so I had to really stop and look at this email before grabbing my purse and running out the door again. It was fake of course, and I was able to realize that before acting on it. However, this email made me stop and think of how many employees, in positions like mine, fell for it? We live in a world of “Go! Go! Go!”, it is very easy to breeze over one of these sneaky cyber scams and act on it.

Small Business Is A Hacker’s Paradise

Almost weekly we hear about a cyber attack in one form or another. Sometimes the attacks come as an email link, a request for information, a stolen laptop, a virus etc. These hackers are not just targeting large corporations; small businesses are their bread and butter due to the limitation of protection on the company’s system. So, how do you protect your company from attacks? Always guide staff on best practices for cyber security.

General Best Practices For Cyber Security:

  1. Install, use and update an antivirus/antispyware on all machines.
  2. Use a firewall.
  3. Install software updates regularly (even though they are annoying and inconvenient).
  4. Always keep a backup copy of data.
  5. Secure Wi-Fi when applicable.
  6. Protect every page of public facing websites.
  7. Encourage staff to use passphrases opposed to passwords
  8. Establish best practices for email and electronics.

When Best Practices Fail

There may come a time, when the best practices you put to work in your company fail. You get hacked. What’s next? How do you recover? The cost of a cyber attack on a small to mid-sized company can be over $200,000. That is a lot of cash, and most small businesses do not have the money just hanging out. Not only is there a financial risk involved but also business time lost. Typically, when we think of Business Interruption, we are thinking about natural disasters, fires or floods. However, when your network, or digital property is tampered with, it is the same thing. So much of business is transacted digitally these days, it is a necessary to purchase cyber liability coverage.

Won’t My Business Liability Policy Be Enough?

Most business insurance policies do not afford any coverage to cyber exposures, and if they do, the coverage is extremely limited. A business insurance policy is meant to cover losses for physical property, but not digital property.  A cyber liability policy affords coverage to a loss concerning data breaches, intellectual property rights, damages to a third-party system, system failure, cyber extortion and business interruption. Cyber liability is crafted specifically to address risks associated with technology.

How Much Cyber Coverage Do I Need?

The amount of coverage a business needs is assessed by the size of the company and their exposure to the risk. The best way to figure out what your exposure is would be to consult with a professional. We have several insurance consultants who are prepared to help you gain the knowledge you need to make your decision. You just need to decide if you want to invest in cyber coverage or in a $200,000 loss when the time comes.