Even in a small town, our lives and businesses are increasingly online. Since the Covid19 pandemic, there has been an increased drive to move our businesses and lives online to accommodate restrictions around gatherings and decreased sales overall. In Saskatchewan, we value the connection that comes from being on the internet, whether through our online profiles or our business’ eCommerce store. With all that amazing connection also comes risks to our security and safety. With internet crimes increasing exponentially, cyber protection can help you navigate an online attack.
Commercial cyber protection can cover your business.
If you experience an attack on your business systems, it can come with costly outcomes. If your client’s sensitive information is compromised, your business can be sued or need to spend money to regain client trust through campaigns and research.
Learning about online security can help you to avoid attacks, and your cyber protection can cover your business in two main areas:
- Data Breach
A data breach occurs when sensitive data, such as medical records, credit card information, and other sensitive data, is compromised or released, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Whether your business is large or small, this is always a threat to your online security.
Adding cyber coverage can ensure that your business is protected by your insurance in the event you need to:
- Navigate through the legal process of alerting customers and authorities
- Provide credit flagging and case management if customers are affected
- Hire or engage in public relations to mitigate loss
- Respond to or engage in legal action
If you experience an intentional destruction of hardware or software, whether malicious or accidental, it can be costly to recover. The outcomes of a cyber attack often include compromised data, destruction of the tools needed to run your business, having to replace or repair your computer(s), or costly interventions to restore your network.
Adding cyber protection to your commercial insurance policy can provide coverage for a cyber attack by:
- Assisting or covering the costs of recovering data, loss of business revenue, and the potential expenses for managing affected clients and your business’ public image
- Covering all or part of the cost of a legal defence and or liability costs in the event the attack damages a third party network
5 ways you can protect your business from cybercrime:
- Install and maintain a firewall
A firewall is a critical component in your business’ online security. Firewalls work by providing a shield between your trusted network and an untrusted network (like the internet). Anything that your company does online should utilize a firewall to control and monitor your online traffic. Businesses can customize their firewall settings to best suit their needs and concerns.
- Utilize encryption software for sensitive data
Encryption is the process of securing data by scrambling it to all those who don’t have the appropriate key. Data encryption technology is built into many of the programs we use daily, such as many email servers. Encryption is a critical tool to protect your sensitive data from harm.
- Initiate two-factor authentication for your security
Two-factor authentication allows you to closely monitor who accesses your secure platforms so that you can be alerted to a potential breach in your security and rectify the situation immediately. If your site requires users to log in, you can also provide the option for two-factor authentication for added security on the client-facing end.
- Ensure you have an active SSL certificate on your website
If you have a website, an Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate will indicate to other internet users that your site is safe and trustworthy. This is an encryption tool that prevents others from accessing information entered on your site.
- Update your passwords regularly
Initiate a practice of updating your passwords often to prevent hackers from gaining access to your systems or sensitive client data. Try utilizing a password keeper app such as LastPass to safely store your passwords without needing to remember each one. If you have staff turnover, it is important to change the passwords and de-activate their accounts.
- Train your staff
Educate yourself and your staff on the necessity of internet security. Train staff to identify, report, and delete suspicious emails, not give private info over the phone, and limit their browsing or purchasing on the work network (if applicable). If you work closely with a marketing team, ensure that they are keeping your website monitored and protected.
- Back up important data
Backing up data, whether digitally or in a hard copy, is a crucial part of your online safety net. If data becomes compromised, you will easily be able to compare to your records as well as initiate a full restore.
How do hackers gain access to your sensitive data?
Several perils can entrap you and jeopardize your network security when you’re online. It is critical to educate yourself and your staff on common ways people gain access to sensitive data to prevent cybercrime from occurring. Strong passwords are the first step to online security.
To create a strong password:
- Ensure it is a minimum of 12 characters
- Don’t use common phrases or number sequences (such as 1234 or abcd)
- Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols
- Don’t use words or numbers that are associated with you or your business, such as your phone number, business name, or birthday
- Change passwords frequently; don’t repeat passwords or use similar elements in all your passwords
3 Common ways hackers access your business’ sensitive information:
When you run a business, even in rural Saskatchewan, you can be a target for online crime. Stealing information is a lucrative and robust illegal industry; in Saskatchewan, cyber-crime more than tripled –– with 54% of businesses reporting at least one attack per year. You can protect yourself from the outcome of a data breach or cyber-attack through your commercial insurance. To prevent crime, it is crucial to learn about the common methods hackers use to gain access to your information:
Malware is software designed to harm your computer, network, and gain access to sensitive data from your business. There are many different kinds of malware, and they can collect information by monitoring your keystrokes, gaining unauthorized access to your computer and networks, collecting personal data and passwords, as well as infecting other computers who access your network.
- Brute Force
This hacking typer is a program designed to run thousands of possible passwords per second, so if you have an easy-to-guess password, you are especially susceptible to this kind of hacking. Once your passwords have been compromised, your personal data stored in that area is also compromised.
Have you gotten a suspicious email asking you to send a gift card, money to a foreign prince, or an invoice for a service? These are standard methods of phishing. Through multiple forms, such as telephone, text, fraudulent websites, or email, hackers can access your computer. This allows them to install programs or access your passwords, compromising your data and the data of your clients or customers.
Your trusted Saskatchewan insurance broker can protect you from online harm.
If you’re concerned about the fallout from a cyberattack, your Kessler insurance broker can help you to choose a cyber protection policy that will suit your business’ needs. We are invested in your online security so that you can run your business without the added stress. Talk to us today about how to add additional coverage to your commercial policy.