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Cyber-attacks and Data Breaches. Not Just for Big Businesses.

Did you know 60% of all cybercrime is directed at small businesses? In fact, According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, one in five small businesses falls victim to cybercrime each year. And of those, some 60 percent go out of business within six months after an attack.
6/11/2015

80sTees, a small specialty t-shirt store, was notified by the bank about suspicious credit card charges. The culprit, an employee, had set up an e-mail address to record information from each credit card transaction. The owner had to notify some 3,500 customers of the breach. He then reworked his website to no longer store credit card information and stopped accepting credit cards. Total cost? $200,000, not including loss of sales or the countless hours invested in remedying the situation. Luckily, 80sTees was able to recover from this breach and continue to provide rad stuff.

  

Cyber-attacks and data breaches are oftentimes a hot topic in the news - the Sony and Target breaches were two of the largest recorded hacks to date. Entrepreneurs beware! Don’t let these high-profile cyber-events lull you into a false sense of security and think hackers would rather attack major corporations with deep pockets and giant IT departments. Did you know 60% of all cybercrime is directed at small businesses? In fact, According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, one in five small businesses falls victim to cybercrime each year. And of those, some 60 percent go out of business within six months after an attack. 


Cyber insurance, a relatively new form of insurance product, is becoming increasingly necessary as companies expand technologically. With the rise of mobile devices used for business, Wi-Fi in the workplace, and social networking, we leave our personal information, and most importantly our business, at risk for an attack. 


The cost of cyberattacks is on the rise. The National Small Business Association reports that in 2014 the average cyberattack cost a small business $20,752 - a substantial increase from the average of $8,699 an attack cost businesses in 2013.


In addition to losing a majority, or all, of your profit in the event of a cyber-attack, you also risk losing the trust of your vendors, employees and most importantly, your customers. Depending on the type of business, if you’re attacked, you also open up the risk of attack on any company or person doing business with you. In the near future, you should anticipate your customers, vendors and partners to ask about, and have an expectation that you carry, cyber insurance and/or meet security standards before they conduct certain business transactions with you.


The cost of cyber insurance ranges, depending on the industry you’re in, your business revenue and how much coverage you want and/or need. Keep in mind that BOP (Business Owner Policy) or General Liability may provide little to no coverage for the cost to notify, litigate or pay damages on a cyber-related claim. You should check with a local independent agent to guide you on what kind and how much coverage is appropriate for you.


As a business owner, and holder of information - whether it’s employees, customers or partner companies, it is your responsibility to do your best to protect that information. By taking steps to make sure your IT security is up to date and by covering your business with cyber insurance, you’re not only providing yourself peace of mind, but those who do business with you as well. 



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