The Importance Of Cyber Security Protection
Cyber security has been getting a lot of attention as of late. But why is that? It wasn’t long ago that it seemed cyber security was something only those in the tech industry had to concern themselves with. But times have changed! Where once business leaders saw cyber security as the responsibility of their IT departments, and didn’t give it a second thought, views are starting to change. It was once believed that as long as a firewall was set up, antivirus was installed, and necessary files were encrypted that everything was fine and that a blind eye could be turned to cyber security threats, leaving the bulk of the worry on IT departments and experts while the leaders focused on the business end of the company.
It’s likely you’re already aware that things have changed, and cyber security should be made a priority no matter the size of your company. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard from the various news outlets of the many data breaches and hacks that occur all the time, affecting companies both large and small. These occurrences often result in massive damage to reputations, cost lots of money, and bring a lot of negative media attention towards the victims of the attack.
If cyber security still isn’t on your list of priorities, continue reading and you’ll likely change your mind:
Cyber Security’s Role In Business
Before delving too deeply into why cyber security is more important than ever in this day and age, getting a feel for what role cyber security plays in a business is necessary.
Anything that your company uses that relies on an internet connection in order to send out and receive communications, or is even connected to a smart device or computer can be affected during the course of a cyber security breach. Some examples include:
- Communication systems such as phones, email, and text messages
- Transportation systems such as smart car engines, airplane navigation systems, and traffic control systems
- Databases managed by the government such as license databases, tax record databases, and Social Security numbers
- Any financial system, to include loans, paychecks, and bank accounts
- Medical systems such as imaging and scanning equipment, and medical records
- Education systems such as report card databases, information related to research, and grading systems
Reasons To Prioritize Cyber Security
The Cost Of Falling Victim To An Attack Is Increasing
One reason that’ll likely convince you of the importance of cyber security is just how costly cyber attacks have been for businesses that have had to deal with them. Some recent statistics state that the average cost of a data breach at a large company can be around $23,000! This usually is a gross underestimate of the true costs of dealing with the aftermath of a cyber attack against a business. There is not only financial damage that the business has to endure or remediation costs; Most company’s’ reputations are irreversibly damaged as a result of an attack.
When your company falls victim to a cyber attack, customers will likely lose trust in you and they’ll likely take their business and money to your competition! Being known as a company that doesn’t take cyber security seriously, or one that has fallen victim to a cyber security attack in the past will likely lead to increased difficulty in securing new business.
Hackers Are Becoming Increasingly Sophisticated
Any company worth its salt has some sort of website or system that is exposed to the world that cyber criminals may use as a way to gain access to your internal networks and data. There is a lot to gain for a cyber criminal when they can successfully gain access to your data, and there is plenty of examples of sophisticated cyber attacks against large companies where the criminals were obviously well-funded and planned far in advance. Even some of the largest cyber security companies in the world have fallen victim; Deloitte, the largest cyber security consultant in the world has fallen victim to a cyber attack!
Well planned and highly sophisticated cyber attacks are becoming incredibly common. It’s in your favor to assume the worst and come to terms with the fact that at some point or another your company will be a target. Taking the necessary precautions and implementing adequate controls will aid will help increase response times when a cyber attack may have occurred and can aid in their detection, which will help minimize the disruption and damage that may be caused before it’s too late.
Hacking Tools Are Easier Than Ever To Find
With the hacking and penetration programs and tools becoming much easier to find and use, the threat of a cyber attack is much more likely. Companies no longer only have to worry about the most highly funded and skilled hackers, but also much newer and less skilled individuals and groups. It is easier than ever for a wannabe hacker to gain access to the resources necessary to launch a small scale cyber attack on a company.
Smart Devices Are Becoming Increasingly Commonplace
With more and more of our devices becoming smart devices, with internet connections, more and more opportunities for cyber attacks are becoming available. These devices have been all grouped together as the Internet of Things, or IoT for short, and they are becoming commonplace in both the home and in the business environment. These devices offer us the means to more efficiently complete a variety of tasks while offering increased accessibility and much finer levels of control. With this uptick in use, many problems are becoming apparent.
If these IoT devices are not managed with care, any one of these newly internet-connected devices could be used as an entry point for cyber criminals in order to gain access to your business’s data and internal networks. It has been estimated that by 2021, over 27 billion of these IoT devices will be in use, so this potential vulnerability will be needing increased attention!
Cybersecurity Threats Are Increasing In Frequency and Severity
Building off our previous point, a report recently sent out that looked at IoT cyber security statistics found that over 70% of these new IoT devices were not using encryption when sending and receiving communications!
In another report, cyber attacks were discovered to be growing ever more rapidly over the past several years, with no signs of slowing.
With the frequency and severity of damage caused by cyber attacks and data breaches increasing at an alarming rate, the importance of cyber security protection is becoming apparent for all.
Cyber Security Regulations Are Becoming More Common
It is not only due to the increased risks and damaging consequences of a cyber attack that cyber security needs to be prioritised. Many new regulations are being put into place that are requiring businesses and organizations to take cybersecurity much more seriously or face the consequences of heavy fines and penalties.
The problem of cyber attacks and data breaches are not going to go away. All signs point to their frequency continuing to increase as time goes on. If you weren’t previously convinced of the importance of proper cyber security protection for your business prior to reading this, hopefully, you’ve come around and see cyber security for what it is; A vital and important part of any business plan for continued growth and success!
Reasons You Should Have Cyber Liability Insurance.
Why Your Business Needs Cyber Liability Insurance
In today’s competitive business environment, an internet presence is considered a necessity. Online services continue to expand and now include sophisticated e-commerce capabilities and mobile access. Businesses of all sizes are collecting credit card information and assembling sophisticated customer databases. By providing information to the public, a business assumes the role of a traditional publisher. This exposure can lead to an assortment of potential liabilities. Whenever data is collected or distributed by a business, the company assumes responsibility for the safety and accuracy of the information. If customer data is stolen or lost, the business can face significant legal liability and possible regulatory action.
The Importance of Cyber Liability Insurance
Cyber liability insurance is critical for every business that operates a website or stores vital customer information. While large ecommerce sites receive the most attention when a cyber crime is committed, over 50 percent of all data breaches occur at companies with less than 100 employees.
Most general liability policies expressly exclude losses incurred from online activity. Conversely, cyber liability insurance covers internet related losses such as penalties, fines, server infrastructure damage and actions related to client data. Cyber liability insurance mitigates these risks and provides protection regardless of where the data is stored.
Since internet liability laws are still in their infancy, many business owners assume they are protected from the effects of a data breach, especially if it occurs through a third party hosting service. Small businesses typically use point-of-sale systems that are outsourced to an independent provider. While the control of the system may be offsite, any revenue losses resulting from a breach are the sole responsibility of the subscriber and not the host.
How Cyber Liability Insurance Reduces Risk
Also known as e-commerce insurance, cyber liability protection was developed to help reduce the risk associated with a company’s internet presence. Policies provide specific safeguards to combat the harmful effects of a cyber attack. While insurance carriers offer different policy features, the most common coverage includes:
- Data Breach Insurance: This provision covers expenses relating to incident management, investigation, victim credit checking services, remediation, legal costs and regulatory fines.
- Cost Reimbursement: This coverage provides reimbursement for costs relating to any cyber attack including staff hiring, independent contractors, supplies and other related expenses.
- Defamation Protection: Coverage is provided for any legal action relating to defamation, copyright infringement or invasion of privacy.
- Network Security Protection: Businesses are covered against third-party inflicted damages that result from denial of access attacks, theft of data actions and other expenses related to lost information.
- Extortion Liability Protection: This provision provides coverage for losses resulting from extortion threats and the professional fees associated with addressing the crime.
Key Elements in a Cyber Liability Policy
Cyber liability insurance policies can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the client. Most policies provide basic coverage and offer a variety of additional options. The core policy should always include coverage for data loss or theft, data corruption and loss of business income from a documented attack. Liability coverage for legal costs, judgments, regulatory actions and settlements is also recommended.