Don’t Equate Small with Safe
Despite significant cybersecurity exposures, 85 percent of small business owners believe their company is safe from hackers, viruses, malware or a data breach. This disconnect is largely due to the widespread, albeit mistaken, belief that small businesses are unlikely targets for cyber-attacks. In reality, data thieves are simply looking for the path of least resistance. Symantec’s study found that 40 percent of attacks are against organizations with fewer than 500 employees.
Hackers aren’t the only way your company can be attacked—often, smaller companies have a family-like atmosphere and put too much trust in their employees. This can lead to complacency, which is exactly what a disgruntled or recently fired employee needs to execute an attack on the business.
Attacks Could Destroy Your Business
As large companies continue to get serious about data security, small businesses are becoming increasingly attractive targets—and the results are often devastating for small business owners.
According to the Kaspersky Lab, the average annual cost of cyber-attacks to small and medium-sized businesses was over $200,000 in 2014. Most small businesses don’t have that kind of money lying around, and as a result, nearly 60 percent of the small businesses victimized by a cyber-attack close permanently within six months of the attack. Many of these businesses put off making necessary improvements to their cyber security protocols until it was too late because they feared the costs would be prohibitive.
10 Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks
Even if you don’t currently have the resources to bring in an outside expert to test your computer systems and make security recommendations, there are simple, economical steps you can take to reduce your risk of falling victim to a costly cyber-attack:
- Train employees in cyber security principles. Your local IT provider is a great resource and may offer to provide training for free or at a lowered cost.
- Install, use and regularly update antivirus and antispyware software on every computer used in your business.
- Use a firewall for your Internet connection.
- Download and install software updates for your operating systems and applications as they become available.
- Make backup copies of important business data and information.
- Control physical access to your computers and network components.
- Secure your Wi-Fi networks. If you have a Wi-Fi network for your workplace, make sure it is secure and
- Require individual user accounts for each employee.
- Limit employee access to data and information, and limit authority to install software.
- Regularly change passwords.
In addition to the listed tips, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provides a tool for small businesses that can create and save a custom cyber security plan for your company, choosing from a menu of expert advice to address your specific business needs and concerns. (www.fcc.gov/cyberplanner)
Insure You’re Secure
A data breach could cripple your small business, costing you thousands or millions of dollars in lost sales and/or damages. Cyber insurance is affordable for small businesses and should be an integral part of your risk management program.
Contact Fifth Third Insurance today to get the tools and the partner you need to protect your company against losses from cyber-attacks.
Give us a call at 502.805.3742 or contact us on our website to learn more about the Cyber Security Insurance options best suited for your business.