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Posts|June 22, 2021

Are you Vulnerable to a Cyber Attack?

By Jeff Cavignac
President CPCU, RPLU, ARM

It wasn’t that long ago that Cyber Insurance was “the new kid on the block.” Cyber incidents were pretty rare and if you wanted to buy insurance for these incidents the cost was relatively low. As recently as 5 years ago, a large number of small to midsize businesses didn’t even buy Cyber Insurance. That has all changed.

We hear about Cyber-attacks almost every day now. Most often this involves a hacker who takes over a company’s website and extorts a ransom to give it back. Recent victims include the Colonial Pipeline, Scripps Healthcare and CNA Insurance company. Colonial paid nearly $5,000,000 in ransom and it is reported that CNA may have paid $40,000,000 (there is no news on Scripps).

If these companies that have sophisticated cyber security systems can be attacked, everyone is vulnerable. One report found that 43% of all cyber breach victims were small and medium sized businesses. Most small businesses in the absence of having cyber insurance, don’t have the means to defend against a cyber attack and many will go out of business because they are unable to recover from it.

While you can’t eliminate the chance of an attack you can reduce the likelihood. One cyber security expert recommends that 10 percent or more of a company’s IT budget should be dedicated to cyber security. So the question you have to ask is what steps have been taken to protect your company and how vulnerable are you?

This article does not lend itself to an exhaustive review of the things you can do to protect against a cyber-attack, but here are some basic questions you need answers to:

  1. Who is responsible for cyber security in your company? If you don’t have an answer to this question, you need to get one.
  2. Have you implemented procedures to pre-screen emails for potentially malicious content and links?
  3. Have you educated your staff on what they should not open? A surprisingly large number of attacks are caused by phishing.
  4. Have you considered Multi-Factor Authentication to protect your records?
  5. How secure are your back ups and how long would it take to resurrect them if you were hacked?
  6. Have you tested your back up system?

Now is the time to make certain you have reasonable protections in place to protect yourself from a cyber-attack. It is also time to make sure you have the correct cyber insurance and that you understand the coverage and the benefits offered. One of the biggest benefits of purchasing the right cyber insurance policy is the access it gives you to cyber experts who will be side by side with you if you are attacked.

If you would like more information on how to safeguard your company from cyber attacks please let us know.

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