Cyber Security


Risks facing individuals and organizations continue to evolve on a daily basis.  In a world where technology is changing our everyday way of living, staying ahead of the game and knowing what you are exposed to becomes difficult.  Whether it’s driverless vehicles or the idea of having potential drones deliver groceries to your front door, technology advancement continues to push our world into a new era.  As our world evolves into a new age, so too does our risk associated with it.  Of course, when we speak to the advancement of technology, the main risk associated with this is Cyber.

It is estimated that the average cost of a data breach for U.S. companies in 2017 was nearly $8million, mostly from lost business.  Whether it was ransomware knocking out a certain cities entire database or wire transfer fraud that has resulted in large amounts of money and information being compromised, Cyber threats are real and they are emerging for every type of business and individual. 

Most businesses use credit and debit cards as a form of payment.  Hackers target these type of cards because they are very valuable on the dark web.  Cyber criminals are using anything from Skimming tools to phishing emails to collect quality information.  If a business were to sustain a cyber attack, and hackers obtained this information via the credit cards, it is likely that the business would be responsible for notification costs, credit monitoring, and fines just to name a few of the many expenses associated with this.

We have all heard of the Cyber Attacks that large, global companies have sustained.  Target, Equifax, and Chilis is a small sampling of the hundreds of notable businesses that have had some type of cyber situation happen within the last 5 years.  It would be a mistake to think that only large employers are the ones being targeted for Cyber attacks.  Studies and statistics show it is actually the small business sector that is the most exposed.  According to UPS Capital, Cyber attacks cost small businesses between $84,000 and $148,000.  60% of small business go out of business within six months of a cyber attack and 90% don’t use any data protection at all for their company.  These statistics and the mindset of small business owners are why Cyber criminals are targeting them.  They don’t feel they have the exposure, thus they don’t have any controls in place, protection, and most importantly, a Cyber Liability policy to respond when a breach occurs.  Cyber liability policies

There are ways businesses can fight back and protect themselves.  Below are a series of steps brought to you by the Kiplinger Letter, Vol.95, No.30, that businesses can take. 

  • Install software updates promptly - Many high profile cyber attacks happen on outdated software or operating systems that have well known flaws                         

  • Tighten email protocol - Firms are being flooded with fraudulent e-mails that try to pry sensitive info from unsuspecting workers

  • Fortify passwords

  • Back up data regularly

  • Wall off parts of the network from each other

  • So that malicious software can only go so far.

  • Inventory all web connected devices - Security cameras, smart speakers, printers, other machinery.  Be sure they are protected.

  • Boost the cyber know-how of employees

  • Roll out advanced security tools - To detect, block, or quarantine malware

  • Join a Cyber info sharing organization

Queen Bee