High-profile data breaches have catapulted the issue of cyber security to the forefront in recent years. While we typically think of cyber attacks as affecting only large companies, cyber security experts agree that a data breach should be viewed as an inevitability no matter what size your organization is. With the risks greater than ever, small business cyber security is an issue that isn't going away.
Cyber attacks can be costly, with a recent study
indicating the average damages, including downtime and lost business opportunities, come to around $38,000 per incident. When you add in the cost of a tarnished reputation and expenses for upgrading your security protocols to prevent a future attack, the total financial hit approaches $55,000.
Ultimately, if you haven't considered adding the protection of a cyber insurance for small business policy, you could be opening yourself up to significant financial risk. Here are some important considerations for small business owners to take into account.
Who needs small business cyber liability coverage?
Businesses that conduct any type of business online – especially those that accept online payments – are susceptible to a data breach. If your company maintains a website that interacts with the public, you should consider a cyber security insurance policy, because the truth is most small businesses lack the resources to recover from a breach.
What does cyber insurance for small business cover?
Small business cyber security policies usually cover the obvious damages related to a cyber attack, including:
- Lost sales while your business is recovering from the breach
- Cost of data recovery and equipment repair
- Legal fees
- Costs related to notifying customers of the breach
These protections are especially important for small business owners who have just one line of business and may be forced to close for a period of days or weeks following a breach.
How can you protect your small business against a cyber attack?
You can minimize the risk to your data by taking the following steps:
- Add a firewall. Don't rely on the firewall included in your operating system, especially if you take payments online.
- Encrypt your WiFi. If you're using an older router, consider upgrading it to WPA2 for maximum protection.
- Install antivirus software. Unlike a firewall built to safeguard against hacking, your antivirus software protects against malware.
- Change your passwords regularly. Don't use any personal identifying information in your passwords such as your birthdate, spouse's name or children's names.
- Make sure your employees are educated on security best practices for email and internet use. Have a written policy that spells out their responsibilities in protecting any confidential customer information.
If you're not sure whether you need a cyber security insurance policy, take a careful look at your business's online footprint – better yet, ask a security expert to review it for you. If there are any potential risks regarding intellectual property or sensitive customer data, contact AmVenture
to see how our cyber liability coverage
options can protect you and your small business against costly attacks.
The opinions expressed here by AmVenture.com columnists are their own, not those of AmVenture.com.