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Cyber Liability: Small Businesses Increasingly Targeted by Hackers

Cyber Liability Small Businesses Increasingly Targeted by HackersSmall businesses are increasingly the target of hackers. In fact, according to figures by a major insurance carrier, in 2014, 60% of all online attacks targeted small and mid-size businesses. The reason: Limited security budgets, outdated security and lax employees, which can leave holes easily exploited by ever-more-sophisticated digital criminals.

Indeed, according to many experts in the cyber security field, smaller companies are easier to hack, as they don’t have the resources to set up protective barriers. They are particularly susceptible to a type of malware called ransomware. Ransomware prevents or limits users from accessing their system, and forces its victims to pay ransom in order to grant access to their systems, or to get their data back. The most common way that criminals execute this is by sending attachments to an individual or various personnel at a company. A busy employee opens the file, sees nothing odd, and continues with his or her workday. However, once the file has been opened, the malware has been executed. A hacker can then take over the company’s computer system or decide to steal or lock up key information.

To guard against such cyber crime attacks, it’s important to educate your employees on the prevalence and purpose of malware and the danger of opening suspicious attachments. Employees should be advised not to click on unfamiliar attachments and to advise their IT department should they open something that they suspect could have contained malware. Businesses should also consider backing up their data off the main network so that, if critical data is held hostage, they have a way to access most of what was kidnapped. Best practices also dictate that company systems (as well as individual personal devices) be patched and updated as soon as upgrades are available.

These types of attacks can be damaging to revenue and customer expectations, with many small businesses forced to close after such an incident, particularly if they don’t have a remedy like Cyber Liability insurance in place to cover the costs involved. A well-tailored Cyber policy contains coverage for cyber extortion. It provides assistance in the event a cyber extortion threat is made against the company, as well as finances the ransom amount in the event a payment is made.

Axis Insurance Services can secure a Cyber Liability insurance policy designed to respond to the increasing risks small and mid-size businesses face today. We specialize in Cyber/Privacy & Network Security Liability insurance and would be happy to provide you with a review of what is available to fit your specific business needs.  Just give us a call at (877) 787-5258.

 

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Blogged on: January 27, 2016 by Mike Smith
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