Fast, easy, and inexpensive ways to protect against a cyber attack
The cyber attacks that make the news are the big ones – ransom demands in the millions of dollars or malware that brings down the networks of big companies. But small businesses can be affected by cyber incidents too. Are they worried about this? Should they be?
Hiscox conducted a survey of 210 small business owners and found that many of them are concerned – and rightly so. Their concern goes beyond the cost and inconvenience of having your data compromised. Nearly half (47%) of survey respondents are concerned that they will damage their brand if they don’t handle client and partner data securely.
Pandemic-induced changes haven’t helped
With employees working from home and accessing company systems remotely, there’s more opportunity than ever for hackers to get their hands on your data. Workers may not have adequate security on their home computers and may fall victim to phishing attacks more readily.
Companies seeking to protect their data by storing it in the cloud rather than on their servers may be trading one risk for another. While offsite storage can be extra protection against malware and phishing attempts, cloud service providers are big targets for other types of hacks.
More businesses are accepting online payments than ever before, which puts sensitive customer data at risk.
You can protect your data
The good news? There are easy and inexpensive ways to protect your business against cyber criminals who would help themselves to your data. Here are three to try today.
- Train your employees. A well-trained staff can act like a ‘human firewall’ – keeping hackers out of your system and away from your data. Teach your employees how to avoid falling for a phishing attack or another type of social engineering. Make sure they know what to do if they suspect a breach or mistakenly click on a link in a suspicious email. And make sure your training is ongoing – the bad actors are continually honing their craft, so your training has to keep up.
- Multifactor authentication is an easy way to protect your data. Requiring an extra code to access your intranet or server remotely may seem like a pain, but it’s a really good way to ensure that only those who are authorized to access your system are doing so. Nearly half - 46% - of the companies that responded to our survey indicated they use multifactor authentication for remote access. This is an easy – and fairly inexpensive - way to prevent unauthorized access to your system.
- Insure your business against cyber threats specifically. Some business owners are reluctant to spend the money on cyber security insurance, but an incident can be much costlier. According to the 2021 Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report, the average small business experienced cyber attacks resulting in an annual cost of $25,612.
- The companies that responded to our survey that have a cyber insurance policy gave these top three reasons for purchasing:
- Concern about the security of their own data, or that of their customers, vendors or clients (23%)
- Concern about claims made by customers or clients in the event of an attack (24%)
- The high cost of a potential breach, and the importance of the peace of mind that comes with being financially protected (23%).
A comprehensive, stand-alone cyber insurance policy can protect your business from the costs associated with a cyber incident. But it can do much more than that. Hiscox cyber policies include Cyber Clear Academy, a suite of tools to help businesses train employees on what to watch out for and what to do if they suspect an attack. Policyholders also have access to a team of breach response specialists who will spring into action as soon as a breach is suspected. These experts know just what to do to mitigate the damage to your business and your reputation.
To get a quote for a comprehensive cyber policy for your business, visit Hiscox.com.