1 in 4 Small Business Suffered a Cyberattack in 2016

You might assume that because you own a small business, cyber-criminals would be uninterested in stealing a virtual slice of your little piece of the world. Unfortunately, that assumption would be wrong.

Small businesses are a common target for cybercriminals, with one in four small businesses suffering a cyberattack in 2016, as found in a study conducted by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB also found that the average financial loss incurred by the targeted businesses was close to $5,000. The biggest loss maxed out at $150k.

Cyber liability coverage should be part of your larger small business protection plan, in partnership of course with small business insurance. Both coverages offer financial support when your business comes under severe stress, be it by a data breach or client lawsuit.

To run your small business efficiently, you need to expand your toolset. Again, a quarter of small businesses suffered a data breach in 2016, do you want to count yourself among them in 2017? More than 300 breaches have already occurred, and it's not six months into 2017!

Apart from getting insurance, what else can you do to protect your small business' online integrity? Here are a few things to do:

Hire a cybersecurity consultant to run coding checks. A cybersecurity consultant can test your network for weak code. After finding the questionable code, the consultant can patch the code, making your network more secure. Cybercriminals regularly scan small business networks for poor code. Once they find the "weak link," they will do what they can to break through the code and steal sensitive data. A cybersecurity consultant can stop this from happening before a cybercriminal has time to break through the weak code by conducting vulnerability scanning measures.

Conduct regular network maintenance. This falls in line with having a cybersecurity consultant habitually check your network for vulnerable coding. Just because the code was patched last week, this doesn't mean another source of code is still pulling its proverbial weight. By conducting weekly routine network maintenance, you are securing your business' data and at large, your reputation.

Change passcodes twice (or more) a month. What is one of the most common ways a business can get caught up in a data breach? By using poor login credentials. Using botnet technology, hackers steal passwords and apply them to other commonly visited web applications. If your assistant is using the passcode "123456" (yes, people still do this!) and it's connected to their work email, a hacker can gain access to your company's private information and other contacts through your staff member. By regularly changing passwords, you will keep the cybercriminal at bay.

Only allow remote access via VPN. With more employees working in remote locations, small business networks are becoming more susceptible to cybercrime. Using free wifi at the local coffee shop, a staff member can inadvertently grant access to a cybercriminal sitting just a few chairs away. By having your employees' login to the company network via VPN, you are protecting what's yours: your business.

It's only a matter of time before a cybercriminal makes your small business their target. Get cyber liability insurance with CyberPolicy to protect your business today.

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