After you have bought all of the equipment your small business needs to run smoothly, it's time to set up shop. You unpack the boxes, set up the computers and plug in your wireless routers. After calling AT&T (or something like it) to set up your internet services you're starting to feel like things are finally coming together.
Not so fast! Have you signed up for a cyber insurance policy? Is your business insurance in check? Things happen, and if you're not covered you won't only be out money, you could be out your business.
A Flaw in the System: NETGEAR Router Cyber Fail
According to PC World, multiple NETGEAR router models are at risk of being exploited by remote hackers. A white hat hacker who goes by the handle Acew0rm published NETGEAR's vulnerabilities online in early December 2016 after he reported that the company took no action to remedy the security flaw he had found and briefed them about.
Cybersecurity expert Pedro Ribeiro also found vulnerabilities in the NETGEAR's router system, among them a zero-day flaw. A zero-day flaw is when a vendor has released new software or a new software update and is unaware that there is a hole in the coding. Cybercriminals find the vulnerability in the code and work to extract or infect what they can before the vendor comes back to patch the code. At the writing of this article, Ribeiro has found close to (if not more) 10,000 vulnerable routers. Like Acew0rm, Ribeiro contacted NETGEAR about the vulnerabilities but did not get a response. In an effort to protect NETGEAR users from getting hacked, Ribeiro published his findings online. Is your NETGEAR router on the list? If so, unplug it now and get a replacement ASAP!
Information, Recommendations and Updates
Before you set out and make big purchases for your business, you will need to do your background research. Certain software programs are known to be more susceptible to cyberattacks than others, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices can all be shut down and taken over if your software isn't up to code.
When you're making big electronic purchases, research how the company handles cybersecurity and what they do if there is a breach. For example, if you're buying your products from Apple and your devices are cracked by a cybercriminal, what will Apple do about those devices? Will they be replaced, or is the cost on you?
Aside from conducting routine network sweeps and updating your electronic systems you should get a cyber insurance policy. Cyber insurance covers the financial damages a cyberattack leaves in its wake. Cyber insurance covers equipment replacement, ransom fees and other financial scenarios, including litigation fees. Think about it: if a cyber hacker was able to steal a client's personal information, including their bank routing number and SSN, don't you think they might hold you at fault for having lax cybersecurity?
Running your small business isn't going to be easy, but you don't need to complicate it with faulty equipment and poor cybersecurity measures. Get a cyber insurance policy when you visit CyberPolicy.