Small business owners are often so busy just running their company, they may not consider the devastating consequences of a data breach. Or, they may think that they are a small target and that cyber criminals are looking for bigger fish. The reality is scary: small businesses are likely at greater risk for data breach than large corporations. To compound the problem, small businesses are often ill-equipped or unprepared to deal with the financial devastation a data breach can cause.
The National Cyber Security Alliance conducted a study in 2012 and found that 60% of all small businesses that suffered a data breach were OUT OF BUSINESS with 6 months of the breach. The reason is simple: the cost of dealing with a data breach can easily exceed $200,000. Consider the following survey statistics regarding small business and computer systems security:
- Nearly 80% of small businesses have no written internet security policy for their employees.
- 45% of small business owners provide absolutely no internet safety training to employees.
- Two thirds of business owners allow employees to use USB flash devices to transfer data between home and work computers.
- Nearly 60% of small business do not require multi-factor authentication to access computer networks.
- 50% of small businesses do not wipe computer hard drives before disposal.
There are two simple and doable solutions for small business owners. The first, and most obvious, is to implement a cyber security plan. Identify risks, exposures and gaps in your security and take the appropriate steps. There are hundreds are articles online to help you get started. Start with the Microsoft Small Business Hub and then check out the US Chamber of Commerce Security Essentials tips. Any reputable local computer firm should be able to do an onsite evaluation and help you implement a security plan. The cost to upgrade hardware and software, if necessary, is surprisingly affordable and should not be a deterrent for small business.
Second, consider cyber liability insurance. Cyber liability insurance provides coverage for 1st party expenses (such as customer notification and credit monitoring) and 3rd party expenses (such as lawsuits from affected customers). Contrary to what you may have been told, cyber liability insurance is affordable and can often be added to your existing business insurance plan.
The point is simply this: just because you are small business does not mean you are not a target for a data breach. Be proactive – do something today to secure the sensitive customer information you have custody of. Start by implementing a plan and finish with purchase affordable cyber liability insurance from AssuredPartners Safeguard Insurance. Contact us at 702-638-0022 or visit or cyber liability insurance page for additional information.