Are You Taking Cyber Threats Seriously?
Here’s Why You Should and How to Protect Your Business
By Shannon Murphy
We think it will never happen to us, but in the case of cyber threats, that mentality can become extremely costly and get you and your business into trouble. In fact, here at ESA we are hearing that some of our members have already been victims of ransomware hacks and data breaches. Every security company is at risk and it is important for you to take steps to protect your organization and your customers’ sensitive data.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is defined as a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. The State of Malware Report by Malwarebytes Inc. reported, 81% of ransomware detected in corporate environments occurred in North America. Small to medium sized businesses tend to be the primary targets of ransomware demands. Hackers typically request a few thousand dollars as it is more likely to be paid than a substantially larger amount. Hackers are constantly reinventing viruses and malware. Bill Harden with Chicago-based Charles River Associates explained that sixty new types of ransomware were distributed last year alone, keeping hackers one step ahead.
Data Breach Concerns
Data security breaches and compromises of customer and employee data continue to be reported at high frequencies. Since 2005, 896 million personal records have been breached in the United States. When a breach occurs, a small business needs to be ready to respond quickly and effectively to mitigate its exposure to brand damage and legal liability.
There are laws surrounding private information that your business manages. This can take the form of sensitive employee data as well as private customer information. You can be held liable for violating those laws if the data you are entrusted with is breached. The average costs of a data breach for small to mid-sized companies is upwards of $200,000 not including legal fees.
For more information on data breach coverage check out this informative video:
How to Protect Your Business:
- You should continuously update your virus/malware mitigation software across all computers within your business. There are plenty of data management and cyber security consultants that can work with you to ensure you have all the necessary policies and practices in place.
- Another way to protect your business is to add data breach coverage to your general liability insurance. The great news is that as of March 1, 2017, Security America RRG policyholders, upon renewal, will have a $50,000 limit of data breach coverage embedded in their general liability policy. Security America RRG is the only insurance provider in our industry that has packaged data breach coverage with the general liability policy for insureds.
The new coverage protects against damages and expenses resulting from a violation of a privacy law. In addition, policyholders also gain access to data breach services including forensic and legal assistance from a panel of experts to help determine the extent of the breach and the steps needed to comply with applicable laws.
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