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Top Cyber Liabilities For Businesses

Top Cyber Liabilities For Businesses

As technology has evolved, so have the ways in which it can be exploited. As October is National Cyber Security Awareness month, it’s important that every business take a look at their current cyber practices and the new trends in technology in order to be aware of potential sources for cyber attacks and to protect themselves accordingly. In addition to having Cyber Liability insurance to cover them in the event that a breach does occur, every business should familiarize themselves with the following cyber liabilities.

Hacking

According to the Ponemon Institute 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study, the average total cost of a hacking incident is $5,920,000, with the majority of that cost coming from business losses and the remainder being a result of post-breach damage (such as reparations to clients affected and reputational damage) and the cost of notifying all affected. While certain industries may be targeted more frequently than others, no business is safe, regardless of its industry or its size. The first step to protecting your business against attacks is regularly inspecting your technology for potential weak points. In addition, having a segmented network will prevent the entire network from being affected in the event of an attack, which will allow you to protect your data and maintain some operations while shutting down the attack.

Social Engineering

Network security isn’t just an issue for the IT department. A significant number of network attacks aimed at businesses do not target weaknesses in the network’s defense but instead aim to trick individuals into allowing them access and handing over crucial data. Some of the most common social engineering attacks come in the form of phishing and ransomware, most commonly through e-mails goading employees into downloading documents or sending over personal information. No matter how secure the network is and how strong the firewall is, just one misstep from an individual could lead to drastic losses for the business as a whole. If you do not do so already, include cyber security in your employee training and provide coaching to your employees (and update them regularly) on common social engineering tactics and how to spot a potential trap.

Human Error

Not all breaches are done remotely. Though many people associate data breaches with intelligent hackers akin to something one would see on an episode of Mr. Robot, there’s no stopping someone from locally accessing a phone or computer, whether it is through an employee misplacing their device or by the attacker entering the office and using their computer. Because of this, it is crucial that all devices that could potentially access sensitive data make use of multi-step authentication processes to reduce the risk of someone outside the business using them.

There is also, unfortunately, the possibility of employee dishonesty. According to IBM’s 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index, 60 percent of all cyber attacks were found to have been carried out by insiders. While one-quarter of those attacks were due to error and inadvertent actions, three-quarters of these attacks were carried out by people inside the company. In order to reduce this risk, businesses should provide regular training to their employees on keeping crucial data protected, regularly update their software and network security, know each one of their employees, understand potential security risks, and monitor those who could pose a greater risk.

About Axis Insurance Services

Axis Insurance Services specializes in offering Cyber Liability/Network Security & Privacy insurance and is happy to review the various policies available and how we can tailor them to best suit your firm’s unique risk profile. For more information about our Cyber insurance solutions, give us a call at (201) 847-9174.

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Blogged on: October 30, 2017 by Mike Smith

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