10 Ways to Protect Your Business From Cyber Liability Threats

October 29, 2014

Target and Home Depot quickly come to mind when you think of big, costly hacking cases involving data from millions of customers. These companies faced huge losses in both dollars and customer loyalty, and have had to spend a great deal more to update systems and repair the public relations nightmare. Wishful thinking alone will not be enough to protect your business nor will it save you from detrimental public embarrassment. Now consider how a data breach could impact a small business that is equally reliant on technology in all of its forms to do business every day, yet may lack the resources to recover if faced with a similar event.

Cyber threats come in various forms, from hackers and personal or business identity theft to seemingly innocent errors and mishandling of information. No matter how it happens, the costs to your business can be devastating and far beyond replacing equipment or updating outdated computer systems. So how can you take steps to keep the worst from happening? Here are ten tips for avoiding cyber liability threats from various business and technology experts:

  • Lock and secure sensitive customer and employee data. Shred and properly dispose of sensitive data as needed.
  • Utilize strict password protection and data encryption.
  • Control access to all of your business computers and portable devices.
  • Use antivirus and antispyware on all of your business computers to protect against malicious code and malware.
  • Make sure that remote access to your computer network is secure. Use proven firewall software and only allow remote access through a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
  • Make sure that your business partners who have access to your data have appropriate data security in place on their end.
  • Train your employees to understand the importance of protecting sensitive data and how they are the first line of defense in protecting your business from cyber threats.
  • Protect your website by reassuring customers with clearly visible trustmarks, and use proven antivirus software to protect against outside attackers.
  • Properly screen all potential employees, then develop and communicate clear cyber security policies company-wide.
  • Talk to your insurance agent about cyber liability coverage. Cyber liability insurance can be added to a business owners policy or a commercial general liability policy. It protects your business assets by covering your legal defense costs and any settlements or judgments if you are sued. Cyber liability insurance also covers public relations and other expenses that you may incur while you attempt to salvage your reputation and recover from the incident.

The cyber liability insurance market continues to evolve to meet emerging threats. Basic cyber liability protection is highly valuable to your business, and it might even give your partners and customers more confidence in their decision to do business with you.

You need to work with a knowledgeable insurance agent who can help you assess the cyber threats that your business faces. We have access to policies from numerous insurance companies, and we can help guide you toward the coverage that best protects your business assets.

Have you thought about the cyber threats you face very day? What would happen if your business experienced a data breach?