As part of your business operations do you store information about your customers, such as email address, names, mailing address and payment data? If so, you need data breach insurance. Major data breaches happen daily – 783 occurred in 2014 alone. Despite the very threat, many business owners, especially small business, continue to take a head-in-the-sand approach to securing data and protecting their business from the consequences of a data breach.
The time has come for small business owners to wake up and get serious about securing customer information:
- Education, training and procedures. The importance of securing customer information, in paper and digital form, should be drilled into every employee of your company. Discuss the topic frequently and implement procedures that hold employees responsible for breaches of procedure. Awareness among employees, managers and owners is the first step to preventing a data breach.
- Encrypt everything. Desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices (including tablets) that are used to access customer information must be encrypted. Encryption technology is mature and robust. However, do not make the mistake of relying on encryption as your sole protection against data breach. Professional hackers have broken some of the best encryption codes.
- Reduce the number of data storage locations. You cannot prevent a data breach if you do not know where all your data is stored. Consolidate your data into one ultra-secure location. Consider banning external or portable storage devices that might used by employees to store customer data – thumb drives, portable HDD’s, cd-roms, etc.
- Anti-virus software is not enough. Your computer systems should have a complete intrusion monitoring system that allows you to create and enforce usage policies, filter web traffic and be notified when an external attack is taking place. Consider hiring an outside IT firm to consult and install this type of system.
- Conduct a periodic risk assessment. Getting a fresh set of eyes on your procedures and systems implementations is critical. Companies like Kroll can conduct on-site audits and find the security risks you might have missed.
- Buy Data Breach Insurance. Even a small data breach could cause irreparable harm to your small business. The cost of notifying customers, buying credit monitoring, lost income and reputational harm could very well put you out of business. Data breach insurance can provide coverage for all the above expenses, and more.
You Need Data Breach Insurance: Get a Free Quote
At Safeguard Insurance, we work with some of the strongest cyber liability and data breach insurance programs available. No matter what size your company, we have the expertise to create a comprehensive and affordable data breach insurance program. The bottom line is that you need data breach insurance. Contact Safeguard today for a free risk analysis and quote.