Did you know that, according to the latest statistics, a cyber attack is now considered one of the top five risks to businesses globally? Consider these 2014 statistics:
- The number of U.S data breaches jumped 27.5% over 2013.
- An estimated 85.6 million private records were exposed by cyber attacks.
- Although banking, government and health care are often cited as major sources of personal ID risk, 79.7% of records exposed were hacked from other types of businesses.
- Even though smaller businesses reported a 64% increase in incidents, on average they reduced security spending by 20%.
While smaller businesses may not have the resources to maintain major IT departments tasked with security, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security points to common sense steps any business can take immediately:
- Assess your risk. Figure out how connected your sensitive information is to the internet, cloud computing or other hacker attack points.
- Create a contingency plan. Put procedures and practices in place (such as effective passwords and security access requirements) and be sure employees rigorously adhere to them.
- Educate employees. This should include not only procedures and practices, but how to report incidents and react to threats.
- Back up critical information. Employ the latest technology, along with time-tested practices to be sure you can access critical data after an attack.
- Secure your internet connections. You can do this with effective, regularly updated anti-virus, anti-spyware and other software designed to prevent or minimize security breaches.
And, let us add one more key building block of any cyber security program — a proper insurance safety net. As attacks evolve and become ever more frequent and sophisticated, it is crucial to protect your business from potentially catastrophic financial, reputational and other cyber losses. Speak to your independent insurance agent about the latest cyber security insurance products, such as Selective’s CyCurity® coverage.
National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign