improving-cyber-security|Photo Courtesy ofDepositphotos.com’s one thing to lose data because your hard drive crashes and no one is able to retrieve it. It’s another thing if someone accesses your data and steals it. If your network is infiltrated by hackers, or your employee’s mobile devices are lost or stolen, how upset would your customers be? What laws could your company be breaking? Could a cyber-attack cause a data loss that shuts down your business?

Cyber-attacks should be considered in your company’s disaster preparedness. Purchasing cyber liability insurance can help protect your company in the event of data loss and many other cyber risks, according to an article on the FOX Small Business Center blog. Forty percent of all cyber-attacks target businesses with fewer than 500 employees, the article notes, with an average cost of $190,000 per attack, according to statistics from the Department of Homeland Security and antivirus software firm Symantec.

Operating on a “bring your own device” (BYOD) basis — in which employees supply their own smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices — may increase your vulnerability. But even if your company provides and supports laptops and other electronic devices, your valuable information is still vulnerable to attacks.

When shopping for cyber insurance, there are several other factors to consider, according to the FOX Small Business Center article. Here are the three most important factors.

  1. Potential risk: Some insurers offer free security assessments, which can help your company assess the sources of potential threats, the types of data you need to protect and what plans you already have in place in the event of a data failure or breach.
  2. Insurer stability: Make sure to choose a reputable insurer that’s financially stable and is able to cover any claims.
  3. Industry expertise: Choose an insurer that sells cyber insurance policies on a regular basis — preferably an agent with expertise specific to your industry.

Depending on your company and what your vulnerabilities are, perhaps you don’t need cyber-attack insurance, but you should definitely be evaluating it. Every business needs to understand its own specific risks.

Let us know what steps your business is taking to stay safe. How do you make sure that your company is being proactive about cyber-attacks?

Source: FOX Small Business Center, February 2013