It seems companies will insure against anything these days. I, like so many other people, apparently, was unaware that such an insurance existed, but it would seem that businesses today can take out a policy against data security breaches and computer hacks. A cyber crime insurance policy can protect businesses against the financial, business interruption, and legal costs they would incur should they be struck by cyber crime.
According to research by U.K. small business insurance firm Hiscox, one in 10 small businesses have experienced a data hack. The firm also found that while 41 percent of SMB owners are concerned about their computer systems being hacked, only 25 percent are very confident in the security measures their companies have in place to protect against these risks.
Hiscox SMB insurance expert Alan Thomas suggests that small businesses are often a popular target for hackers because their systems are usually easier to get into and the breach might not be detected for weeks.
The company would obviously love for every SMB owner to take out one of its insurance policies, but Hiscox offers the following security tips to help SMBs protect themselves against online risks:
- Seeking professional advice on security can save you time and hassle in the long run by ensuring the security measures cover your business needs.
- Protect information with an internal ‘need-to-know’ policy. If storing information on a central file server, manage who has access to these files. This can help prevent accidental or deliberate data loss.
- Encrypt important information for extra security so that only authorized users will be able to access it.
- Using the internet and email to conduct business means that data loss becomes a bigger risk. Develop a clear email policy, raise online security awareness with employees, and follow up on suspicious email even if it’s a one off.
- Make it protocol across the business for employees to use numbers and letters in passwords that provide much more robust protection from online criminals.
- Back up your files and check your insurance cover so that you can get your business up and running again quickly in the event of an incident.
- Items like laptops and computer monitors are common targets for thieves, and the real cost of a stolen IT asset isn’t just the hardware, it’s the lost data and the lost productivity. Lock servers in a room and move laptops into a secure drawer at the end of a working day.