It’s all over the news.
Day after day we’re hearing about the latest data breach or cyber attack happening to some of the most prominent companies in the world.
But that would never happen to your company…
I mean, your business is too small. Nobody would want the data you store. Your antivirus is enough to protect you from that risk.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Each day that technology advances your risk of becoming a victim to cyber crime increases.
And it’s happening to companies just like yours more often than you think.
Businesses of all sizes and all industries need to be proactive in order to protect against the growing cyber threats.
As larger companies take steps to secure their systems, smaller and less cyber secure businesses will become attractive targets to cyber criminals.
So what exactly is cyber risk?
...and what impact can it have on your business?
Let’s get into it.
What is Cyber Risk?
Cyber risk is simply the risk of financial loss, disruption or damage to your company that results from a data breach or cyber attack.
In other words, it’s the risk you take in collecting and storing information electronically.
The spectrum of cyber risk is limitless; threats, some more serious and sophisticated than others, can have wide-ranging effects on individual, community, organizational and national levels.
But ultimately, in this day in age that is the way our businesses run.
We live off of our computers and devices. Every piece of information is stored on the server or in the cloud.
So at the end of the day, it is worth the risk.
But there’s several ways to continue operating in a digital world, while still protecting your company against cyber risk.
Cyber Risk Trends
Here’s the top 3 trends we’re seeing across the cyber risk space today:
- Ransom-based attacks are on the rise and, in fact, doubled in 2017. Ransomware is any type of malicious software that infects your computer and either prevents if rom working or prevents access to certain files until you pay a ransom.
- The Internet of Things is simply, weak. IoT devices are lacking basic cyber security features and are difficult to monitor and control by companies - so these areas all pose significant points of vulnerability.
- Programs that are still using single-factor authentication is opening the doors to hackers. Verizon says that 63% of confirmed data breaches involved leveraging weak, stolen or default passwords.
What can you do to protect against cyber risk?
Here’s 4 steps you can take today to protect against the threat of a cyber attack or data breach.
- Develop strategies to prevent a data breach. Your data breach strategies may include encrypting all of the devices used by your employees and educating your employees about phishing and pharming scams ( to name a few).
- Understand your disclosure responsibilities. If a data breach were to occur at your company, you may be legally required to notify certain people. But notifying a broad audience when it’s not required could cause unnecessary concern so identify what your disclosure responsibilities are.
- Create a crisis management and response plan that outlines exactly how you would respond to a data breach if it were to happen at your company. That way, you and your team are prepared to respond professionally to your clients and stakeholders.
- Protect your company by purchasing a cyber liability insurance policy. In the event that a cyber attack happens at your company, cyber insurance protects your bottom line from business interruptions, litigation and lost revenue. Cyber insurance offers a number of important benefits, including data breach coverage, business interruption loss reimbursement, cyber extortion defense, forensic support, legal support and coverage beyond your general business insurance policy.
Download our FREE Cyber Security Planning Guide
In addition to the steps above, download our FREE Cyber Security Planning Guide. The guide is designed to help you protect your business, information and customers from cyber threats.
It’s no secret that the rise of cyber risk is growing at a rapid pace.
By understanding the risks your company faces, and implementing the actionable steps in this article to reduce your cyber risk, you’re one step ahead in protecting your company against cyber crime.
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I'm Pat O'Neill, a Risk Advisor here at The O'Neill Group. If you have any questions about the cyber risk your business faces, or wish to learn more about cyber risk, call me at (330) 334-1561, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to schedule a time on my calendar that’s convenient for you.
Click NEXT STEP if you'd like to get a cyber insurance quote for your business.
This article was adapted from Zywave. This is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.