Think the cyber crooks only go after big businesses? Think again. Small businesses are especially vulnerable because they they’re too penny-ante for hackers to bother with. The truth is cyber criminals see your small business as a target in itself and a doorway to your clients’ valuable data. A study conducted with the Ponemon Institute in 2014 found that more than half of all small- and mid-sized businesses have experienced a data breach and nearly three-quarters of them were unable to restore all their data. Here are six proactive steps you can take to avoid being a victim of cyber crime.
- Stay informed. This is an evolving crime. You need to keep on top of all the latest risks and continually assess your business’s points of vulnerability.
- Secure your browser and operating system. Download the patches, but also maintain the latest version of your browser and test its configuration for weak spots. Older operating systems are easier to breach. Upgrade to a newer, more secure system.
- Secure your router. Set up a strong admin password for your router and use a WPA2 password for your Wi-Fi. And never use Wi-Fi to transmit sensitive data or information.
- Back up your data. It’s too cheap and easy today to have an encrypted cloud-based data back-up service to risk losing everything to a fire, theft or hack.
- Train your employees. Have a written data security policy and make sure you staff knows their security responsibilities, especially when it comes to communicating confidential information.
- Get cyber liability insurance. It’s a critical component of your business risk management plan. Your traditional business liability policies probably don’t cover misuse or destruction of data or data theft and security breach. Cyber liability insurance covers things like business interruption, data and system storage loss, crisis management coverage (damage control if you are hacked) and the expense of notifying any one affected by a cyber-attack on your business-- something many states now require you to do.
Learn more about cyber liability insurance and shop for competitive quotes here.