Cyber attacks are in the news and increasing. This spring, Pennsylvania and Maryland were among the eastern states affected by gas shortages. The shortage was caused by panic purchases after it was learned that Colonial Pipeline, which controls almost half of the fuel in the eastern United States, experienced a cyber attack that forced it to close its fuel distribution line. In May, JBS, the world's largest meat supplier, was hit by cybercrime, which forced it to temporarily shut down all its beef factories in US News reports warning that ongoing shutdowns of JBS facilities could mean higher meat prices.
And it is not just large companies that fall victim to cyber attacks. Almost half of the small companies are exposed to hacking attacks, according to Accenture, an international IT consulting company. The reason hackers are looking for small businesses is simple. It is estimated that only 14% of small businesses have the right software and protocols to defend themselves. Unfortunately, according to Cybercrime Magazine, 60% of small businesses close less than a year after being hacked due to financial loss and loss of customer confidence.
Preventing Cyber Attacks on Your Small Business
"Employees and emails are a leading cause of data intrusion for small businesses because they are a direct way in. in your systems, "says Small Business Administration (SBA). "Educating employees on basic best practices for the internet can go a long way in preventing cyberattacks." The SBA says topics to be covered include "detecting a phishing email, using good browsing methods, avoiding suspicious downloads, creating strong passwords and protecting sensitive customer and vendor information." The SBA recommends the Department of Homeland Security's "Stop. Think. Connect" campaign for education and other materials.
Additional ways to protect your company's data include restricting employees' access to sensitive information and conducting regular tests to determine where the company's risks and vulnerabilities are. Regularly installing and updating antivirus software is crucial, as is keeping your company's hardware platform and infrastructure secure.
The role of cyber insurance
If your company uses computers to send, receive or store customer data or important business information such as sales and tax records, your data is at risk and your company has the potential to be affected of serious losses from cybercrime. Cyber insurance, also known as cyber risk insurance or cyber liability insurance, covers financial losses due to data breaches and other cyber incidents – risks that are not usually included in traditional commercial general liability policies.
Depending on the policy, coverage is available for cyberbullying, data loss, loss of income and expenses related to the attack (including investigation costs to determine how the attack occurred) and the cost of notifying customers whose data was affected.
Of course because the risk is high for this type of insurance, warranties are strict. For example, most insurance companies require companies to have an MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) protocol. MFA requires users to provide two or more verification factors to access a company's online resources. One of our Keller-Brown specialists can help you access your company's risks and choose the right cyber insurance.
Free quote on cyber insurance coverage for Pennsylvania and Maryland companies
The right software plus the right training and protocols can go a long way to protecting your business from a cyber attack. If an attack occurs, the right cyber insurance can protect your business from risk and loss.
For a free quote on cyber insurance, contact an insurance specialist at Keller-Brown Insurance Services today. As an independent insurance company, we work hard to get you the right coverage at the right prices from top-ranked insurance companies.