By: Zach Kaiser, Strategic Risk Advisor – McClone
I preach a lot about cyber security. And while I may preach and harp, I do so because it is a serious problem that threatens every business—even the ones that haven’t fully embraced the rapid growth in the online business sector.
Because the fact is that it isn’t just about stealing credit card numbers. That is just the tip of the iceberg. E-Commerce is just one aspect of cyber risk. Your computer could be used to access a larger system, manipulated to spread a virus or simply breached to access personal information.
The sad and apparent truth is that insurance companies do their best to cover an organization in the event of a breach, but with the rapid growth in cybercrime, a standardized policy might leave you stumbling, reeling and wishing you were more proactive.
At the end of the day, it is hard to regain trust after your client’s information was lost on your watch. What if your car got stolen while in the care of a mechanic? Or your clothes were carelessly left on the dry cleaner counter and stolen by a passerby? Would you chalk it up to an accident and remain loyal?
Most people would not. Here is one statistic that really grabbed my attention while researching cyber security:
According to the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business subcommittee, 60% of small businesses will shut down after a cyber-attack.
So what are you to do? Here are two over-simplified steps to protect your business:
1. Change the mindset of your company to take cyber security seriously.
Change comes from within. It could be hourly employees that need to be educated; it may be your CEO. The point here is that just like safety, it needs to be everybody’s responsibility to maintain the security of sensitive information. And if you have an outsourced company that provides IT support, do not assume they will be responsible if a breach occurs.
2. Have a plan of action for when a data breach occurs.
As good as your business may be, it still may happen. If it does, you are going to want to minimize the damage done and the time spent fixing the breach. Connect with your IT department or administrator and evaluate the steps that are currently in place and the expected timeframe as to when these actions will occur. It’s important to have a team of key individuals ready to jump into action with assigned duties and responsibilities in the event of a data breach. Be sure to include this protocol in your employee handbook and other training materials.
This is just a brief write-up to draw your attention to cyber risk and get you thinking about the matter. It’s imperative to be proactive and always stay one step ahead when addressing devastating business threats, such as cyber risk. Feel free to share how your business is mitigating cyber risks in the comments section.
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