Do Gyms Need Cyber Insurance?

It's no secret that January is the hottest month for gym memberships. Everybody is trying their best to keep their New Year's resolutions to stay healthy. Especially after all the rich holiday foods. This can be a boon for fitness clubs and gyms. But there are also risks companies need to know about.

Gyms often require members to share personal and financial information such as names, physical addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and checking account numbers. This is the kind of data hackers covet most. And without the right protections, fitness clubs could see major data breaches.

That's why gyms need cybersecurity insurance to protect their digital assets. Without this vital service, health clubs could face significant financial damages in the event of a cyberattack. Below are a few reasons to consider this important safeguard.

Beef Up Your Cyber Policy
Gyms aren't typically thought of as a target for hackers. Most people would assume that cyber crooks would pursue financial institutions or healthcare organizations. But the truth of the matter is that hackers will steal anything they can get their hands on. And the most unsuspecting targets are often the easiest to breach.

For instance, an inexperienced gym might save all their customer data in a Google spreadsheet. They may share the permissions to this crucial document among several employees. Or worse, they could make the data accessible to anyone with the link.

These examples are problematic for a couple reasons. First, the more people who have access to sensitive information, the easier it is to hack. Instead companies should keep important information in silos. Let accounting handle financial information. There's no need for trainers to have access to this data anyway.

Second, Google spreadsheets (and similar services) with open permissions are not secure. Instead, gyms should invest in encrypted cloud storage. This ensures that only the users meant to access member information can access member information. Otherwise, a cyberattack could simply guess the URL and pilfer all the data inside.

Here are a few more cybersecurity tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure all your data is protected by a strong passphrase. Redundant passwords are quickly exploited and weak passwords can be cracked by automated attacks.
  • Train your staff to spot suspicious communications. Social engineering scams and phishing emails are often used to trick employees into sharing access with hackers.
  • Keep all software and hardware up-to-date. If this is not done, you risk hackers slipping through well-known security gaps.

If you fail to implement these simple defense measures, you could be in for a world of hurt. Not only will you have to pay for an investigation into the breach and repairs to your network, you could face legal challenges as well.

Gym members victimized by a data breach could see themselves as targets of identity theft. This happens all too often as hackers re-sell stolen personal and financial information on the dark web. Disgruntled customers can levy a class-action lawsuit against gyms that fail to properly protect their information from hackers and thieves.

For all these reasons (and more), gyms need to find a cybersecurity insurance provider ASAP. Contact CyberPolicy for your free quote today!

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