Small businesses are the number one target of cyber-attacks, accounting for nearly half of all successful attacks. Unfortunately, most small business owners have no idea of the risks they face. They assume thieves will view them as a waste of time because there are so many bigger fish out there. The truth is, small businesses are just the right size. Large enterprises have dedicated security teams and large budgets to deter attackers. Small companies on the other hand, typically have bare minimum defenses and enough information and assets for the cyber-attack to pay off. They are the ideal target.
Hackers don’t just target the small business. They infiltrate their IT system to leverage their relationships with larger companies, launching phishing scams against their larger clients. Imagine your largest clients and vendors getting hacked because of your failure to put proper safeguards in place. You are liable for that mistake. Are you covered? Unless you have a stand-alone cyber policy, there’s almost no protection available to help you recover.
How Can You Prepare?
The best way to protect yourself against cyber-attacks is by getting an IT infrastructure audit from a dedicated IT support company. Use a local company you can meet with in person. You will have to give them admin access to your network, so you want to make sure you are using someone you can trust.
Some cyber insurance companies include a basic security audit as part of their underwriting process, but ideally, you will have the inspection performed before speaking with your insurance company. Remember, an insurance policy is your last line of defense. You must have proper risk management strategies in place to reduce your likelihood of a claim and getting an IT infrastructure audit is the first step.
The IT audit discovers both vulnerabilities and inefficiencies in your network. Fixing inefficiencies alone can more than offset any IT infrastructure upgrade costs that the security audit recommends. Think of an IT issue that costs you five minutes per day in lost productivity. We all have them, a slow booting PC, a faulty internet connection, or a constant error message on a buggy printer. That daily five-minute delay adds up to twenty-two hours annually for each employee. That’s a ton of money!
Once you’ve identified vulnerabilities, the IT company can help you beef up your cyber defenses. They will provide recommendations based on the type of business you have and the information you keep in your network. Make any changes needed so that you can be confident in your small business’s IT security.
Now it’s time to put in that last line of defense, a cyber liability insurance policy. Your efforts to secure your network will go a long way towards giving you access to the best plan available. We are happy to help answer any questions you may have about this type of insurance, give us a call at (916) 984-3000.
Make sure to keep an eye out for an upcoming blog post about the most important element of your defenses: The Human Firewall.