Cyber security is undoubtedly one of the largest topics of discussion for businesses and individuals in 2016. It has been estimated by a Clark School study that a hack occurs every 39 seconds in the United States, and the costs of cybercrime are estimated to reach $6 trillion annually by 2021. Many businesses are anxiously searching for information on what may cause a cyber breach and how they can be prevented, and there are many common misconceptions about cyber attacks targeting businesses. Begin by protecting your business with a Cyber Liability Insurance policy, and read on to learn the truth and the not-so-truth about cyber attacks.
Myth #1: Business Size Matters
Businesses of all sizes have been affected by data breaches. It is a mistaken belief that small and medium-sized businesses may not be appealing targets for cyber-attackers, but in the year 2015, 74 percent of small-to-medium-sized businesses reported data breaches, and one would only need to look at the news to see how many large corporations have been targeted. While larger businesses may have more money or information to be gained from a breach, smaller businesses often have fewer security measures in place, making them easier targets. Every type of business is an appealing target for someone out there, and everyone should devote a significant portion of their security efforts to protecting their network and data.
Myth #2: Cyber Attacks are Simple
As technology has evolved, so have the ways in which it can be breached. Installing anti-virus software on your computers, having a strong firewall, and using secure passwords is a good start to preventing breaches, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you do. Consider all of the vulnerable technology in your workplace (such as mobile devices) and continue to research breach methods and security measures that can protect you as technology changes.
Myth #3: Cyber Attacks are Complicated
However, that does not mean that all cyber attacks are coming from elite, organized master-hackers like one would see on Mr. Robot, or perhaps foreign intelligence. Security Magazine uses the term “script kiddies” to describe the variety of hacker who may not have extensive hacking experience but enjoy carrying out cyber attacks to take advantage of poor security measures. Continue to research cyber security measures and continually upgrade your existing security measures, and make sure you don’t have any blatant weak spots.
Myth #4: Only Certain Industries are Vulnerable
Much like the business size topic noted above, some businesses may believe that they are safe from cyber attacks because they do not have anything worth stealing. However, it is likely that you have clients’ or employees’ personal information (such as credit card numbers, addresses, or bank information) in your database, which could be a potential target. Large corporations like Yahoo, Target, and Equifax have been targeted by cyber attackers, but the same can be said for local homeowners’ associations and small, family-owned businesses. If you are breached, it should never be because you allowed yourself to become complacent that it wouldn’t happen to you.
Myth #5: Only Your IT Department Needs to Worry
The IT department may put up a strong defense against cyber attacks, but everyone is responsible for remaining vigilant and protecting sensitive information. Many data breaches do not involve any sort of hacking: social engineering hacks and phishing scams rely on unsuspecting individuals freely giving out security information, and there’s no stopping someone from physically accessing your device and getting the information from there. Make sure all of your employees are aware of their potential risk and how they may be reached out to by scammers, and continue prioritizing both digital and physical security.
About Axis Insurance Services
At Axis Insurance Services, we aim to help our customers identify their exposures and protect themselves. Founded in 1999, we offer insurance programs to a wide variety of professionals and industries including attorneys, real estate, healthcare, architects, and more, and also have a wholesale division. We pride ourselves on offering flexible insurance coverage tailored specifically to each customer’s needs. To learn more about our solutions, contact us at (201) 847-9175 to speak with one of our professionals.