How to Minimize Your Cyber Liability Risk

The effect of hackers on businesses can be devastating. If you haven’t heard, high-profile cyber assaults on companies like Zappos made headlines across the country. Although these stories are big news, big businesses such as Zappos stand a better chance of recovering. Unfortunately, small businesses are not as likely to rebound. Did you know that roughly 60 percent of small businesses will close permanently within six months of falling victim to a cyber-attack?

Small businesses are especially susceptible to malware, viruses and hackers because the vast majority of U.S. small businesses lack a formal Internet security policy for employees. In fact, only about half even have basic cyber-security measures in place.
To minimize your cyber liability risk and protect your small business, follow these basic loss techniques:

Install Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware and Anti-Spyware Software

This is the easiest as well as the most efficient way to fend off cyber-attacks. The software must be installed on every computer in your network, as any unprotected system is then susceptible to an attack which could harm your entire network. There are many options for each type of software, ranging in price from free to an annual subscription. Whatever your company decides to use, be sure to keep the software as up-to-date as possible in order to prevent new threats.

Install a Network Firewall

If your business has a network of five or more computers, consider buying a network firewall. Although they can be somewhat expensive, network firewalls provide a fine level of coverage for an entire network.

Encrypt Data

It’s better to be safe than sorry. Should a hacker bypass your firewall, it is important to prevent your data from being accessible. Use encryption software to make data like computer drives, files and email messages unreadable to hackers.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

If your company has employees who work from home or away from the office, a VPN is an effective way to minimize cyber risks. A VPN will allow employees to connect to your company’s network remotely. This offers heightened security and eliminates the need for a remote-access server, which could save you a lot of money in remote server costs.

Implement an Employee Password Policy

Another simple and effect way to prevent cyber-attacks is instating an employee password policy. This password policy should force employees to change work-related passwords every 90 days. The policy should encourage the creation of easy-to-remember, hard-to-guess passwords that include letters, numbers and special characters.

Consider Cyber Liability Insurance

Cyber Liability Insurance may be necessary because a traditional business liability policy is extremely unlikely to protect against most cyber exposures. Standard commercial policies are written to insure against injury or physical loss but usually won’t shield you from electronic damages and the associated costs they may incur. However, Cyber Liability Insurance is specifically designed to address the risks that come with using modern technology; risks that other types of business liability coverage simply won’t.
The level of coverage your business needs is based on your individual operations and can vary depending on your range of exposure. For more information about Cyber Liability Insurance and other commercial line services, contact PDCM Insurance in Waterloo, IA.
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