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3 Steps to Prepare Small Business Owners from a Cybersecurity Attack

With a legal obligation to protect personal data, protecting your small business from a cyber attack may seem impossible when you have limited resources.

58% of data breach victims1 in 2018 were small businesses. Yet, only 21%2 of small businesses have a form of cybersecurity or computer security insurance. Protecting your company's assets is important, but without the funds like larger corporations, finding cyber security options can feel like a high-risk game of hide and seek.

But, cybersecurity doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. By being proactive, you can help keep your business safe without breaking the bank. Use these cyber security and computer security tips to stay ahead:

1. Brush up on cybersecurity knowledge

Understanding your company's risks3 is priority one.

It's hard to keep up with all types of cyberattacks but knowing about the big ones can help you prepare. Be wary of phishing attempts, where hackers send you an email that looks – almost – like a corporate email but is designed to steal your information. Look for things that are out of the norm – i.e., an unknown sender, glaring typos or unexpected emails from a known sender.

The other primary type of cyber attack is ransomware, where hackers lock companies out of their systems and demand a ransom for the return of their data. To limit the effectiveness of a ransomware attack, invest in backups and data encryption.

2. Set up computer security best practices

Once you've identified your company's risks, tighten up security4 on your software, networks, mobile devices and websites. Some of the easiest ways are to install antivirus software, encrypt information and update regularly.

But, employee engagement is key to making it stick. Establish a guide of best practices for your employees to help educate them on risks and understand security guidelines. Inform them of common red flags for phishing attempts and encourage them to always check links before clicking on them. Lastly, encourage your employees to use separate computers for personal and business work to help protect sensitive information.

Once your employees are on board, it's time to create an Incident Response Plan5 (IRP) in case you are hit with a cyber attack. An IRP details how to:

  • contain a breach
  • deal with press questions
  • smooth client frustration

The more detailed your plan is, the easier it will be to handle the aftermath of an attack. You'll – hopefully – never need to implement your IRP but being prepared never hurts.

3. Protect Yourself

Stay ahead of a cyber attack and get protection for your business. For a relatively small cost, you can get cybersecurity insurance coverage through American National’s business insurance product that could help investigate a data breach, notify customers and even provide legal assistance for lawsuits. You should also see how cyber liability insurance can help when an attack involves sensitive customer information – i.e., Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, account numbers, and more.

To learn about Data Compromise coverage, contact your local American National agent.

 

Links:

1. https://www.verizonenterprise.com/resources/reports/rp_DBIR_2018_Report_en_xg.pdf

2. https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/02/06/1333676/0/en/Hiscox-Cyber-Readiness-Report-reveals-seven-out-of-ten-firms-fail-cyber-security-readiness-test.html

3. https://staysafeonline.org/blog/biggest-cybersecurity-threats-2018/

4. https://www.sba.gov/managing-business/cybersecurity/top-ten-cybersecurity-tips

5. http://www.slaw.ca/2014/03/10/cybercrime-be-ready-with-an-incident-response-plan/

Sources:

https://www.verizonenterprise.com/verizon-insights-lab/dbir/

https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/02/06/1333676/0/en/Hiscox-Cyber-Readiness-Report-reveals-seven-out-of-ten-firms-fail-cyber-security-readiness-test.html

 

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