Recently cyber-attacks were back in the news, and the latest attempted victim was the White House. According to an October 1 report from the Washington Post the White House acknowledged that hackers attempted to remove data from a White House computer. While the attempt wasn’t successful thanks to mitigation efforts, the attack should serve as a reminder to all small businesses that they face risks of similar attacks from data thieves, and they may not have the same level of mitigation systems in place.
In addition to a hacker getting into your system, data theft can occur if an employee’s computer is stolen, or if an unauthorized person is able to access a computer in your office. It could even be a disgruntled employee who carries out data theft. Any business that collects and stores sensitive information from customers, including credit card information, contact information, credit information, social security numbers, medical information, etc. is at risk for data theft.
Here are a few tips to reduce your risks for cyber-attacks and data theft of sensitive customer information:
Change the passwords you and your employees use to log into your technology systems on a regular basis
Avoid emailing sensitive information, but if you do, use a secured email service
Have employees lock their computer screens when they step away from their desks
Avoid having unescorted/unsupervised visitors walking through your office
Don’t open strange email attachments or click unusual links in emails, especially from an unknown sender as they may be scams
Have a written technology policy in place so that all of your employees understand the expectations and rules guiding how your business handles sensitive data
Loss of electronic data is not covered under most commercial theft policies because it is not a tangible asset, and most general liability policies also exclude coverage for your costs to notify customers of potential data theft, pay for the costs of investigating the loss or the costs of potential fines, penalties or lawsuits that result from a failure to protect the data. A cyber liability policy can provide your business with coverage that will help you cover several costs, including the expenses to inform your customers and regulatory authorities about the possible exposure of data.
To protect your small business from these exposures, consider a cyber-liability policy. Sherrill & Company, a Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agency, can help you identify the risks your business faces from data theft, and can help you identify a policy to cover those exposures.