Cybersecurity Tips For Small Businesses – Part 3 of 3

Have a small business? Working on Main Street, USA? Yes…you, too, should take steps to remain cyber secure to protect your business. This is as vital as locking your doors at night to make sure no one walks in and steals your inventory.

Heather Engel, EVP of Sera-Brynn, recently hosted a roundtable discussion with local business professionals at the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce to discuss the basics of how to mitigate cyber risk by identifying vulnerabilities, testing them against a wide array of threats, and assessing compliance against suggested and mandatory compliance standards.

This is the third piece of a three part series where Engel answers questions and provides cybersecurity tips for small businesses. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

Do your homework with cyber insurance.

CGL, E&O Addendum, D&O, Cyber Liability and Reputational. These are all types of cyber insurance. And yes, you should have cyber insurance.

Cyber insurance transfers some risk for businesses, but watch for exclusions in the policy. You can ensure against data loss, crisis communications coverage, credit monitoring, etc.

Educate yourself on the needs of your business and ensure the policy meets that need.

Getting cyber insurance ahead of time will prevent having to pay a company to come in and do incident response.

It takes roughly eight hours to find the source of the compromise. Incident response is a specialized type of work and can be costly.

Convenience vs. commonly stolen information.

Our economy is storing more and more information online because it’s convenient for the company and most often the customer as well. Medical portals, banking accounts, e-commerce, cloud storage, etc. are all information stored online and also the most commonly stolen information. Hackers know this. We all know this. It is imperative to protect your customers and their information no matter where the information is stored. Make a list of where you are storing your information and use that as a checklist to ensure it’s all properly protected.

Protect your business. Know your business.

Ask yourself a few simple questions about risk.

• What critical info do I have?
• Where is it? Who has access to it?
• What would I do in a crisis situation?
• What are my compliance requirements?
• What gaps require insurance?
Protect yourself.

Take personal responsibility to:

• Educate your kids on internet safety
• Secure your home network, use separate networks for Internet of Things (IOTs)
• Backup your data
• Avoid coffee shop Wi-Fi, or any public Wi-Fi for that matter; if it’s unavoidable, at least use a trusted VPN service
• Evaluate the convenience vs. privacy tradeoff
• Automate your monitoring wherever possible
• Remember NOTHING ever goes away once it’s posted online