Is your business cyber ready? Here’s how prepared US businesses are
Cyber attacks continue to evolve, and businesses in the US are working hard to keep up. According to the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2021, US businesses do better than their counterparts in other countries but are still vulnerable to phishing emails and ransomware attempts.
The Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2021 surveyed over 1,000 cyber security professionals in the US, as well as over 5,000 more in the UK, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Ireland, between November 5, 2020 and January 8, 2021.
Top 4 takeaways from the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2021
- The US leads the way in cyber expertise compared to other countries. The report categorized 25% of all US businesses as cyber experts.
- Despite this, US companies are most likely to pay a ransom. Over 70% of US businesses who received a ransomware demand paid up, to the tune of an average of $17,959 over a 12-month period.
- Phishing emails were the most common way that cyber criminals gained access to computer systems, with 60% of ransomware attacks occurring that way.
- Cyber criminals have taken advantage of the increasing number of people working from home, more online commerce, and other changes due to Covid-19. Sixty-two percent of US businesses believe they are more vulnerable to a cyber attack than they were prior to the pandemic.
The pandemic has changed the scope of cyber preparedness, Meghan Hannes, Cyber Product Head at Hiscox USA explained, “Managing cyber security in one office location morphed into managing cyber security in one hundred different workspaces across the country, almost overnight,” said Meghan. “The pandemic-induced chaos has bred opportunities for cyber criminals, and they’ve been taking advantage.”
How cyber ready is your business?
Want to see how your business stacks up? Try our interactive tools to determine if you’re prepared.
- Cyber Health Check can tell you if your business is already a cyber expert and how you can be more cyber ready. It takes just three minutes.
- Cyber Maturity Review provides a more comprehensive review of your cyber security practices. In about fifteen minutes, you can learn if your business is a cyber novice, opportunist, or expert.
How to increase your cyber readiness
Take a three-step approach to improving your business’s cyber readiness.
- Prevent an attack from happening in the first place. Train your employees to help create a ‘human firewall’ that prevents cyber criminals from accessing your data. Using strong passwords, training staff to recognize phishing emails, and reporting any suspicious activity will help keep you from being attacked in the first place.
- Detect an attack early. As soon as you see something amiss, take action to limit the damage. Engaging a crisis expert can help with this step.
- Mitigate the financial damage to your company. Having a reliable backup can limit the effectiveness of a ransomware demand. A stand-alone cyber insurance policy can cover the costs of a cyber attack.
More ways to protect your business
Knowing how to stay cyber ready and putting in place procedures to mitigate an attack is just the first step in protecting your business. But to cover all of your bases, you should also look into the business insurance options available to you. Or, you can start a quote and Hiscox will suggest a policy that makes sense for your business.