Attention Business Owners!

Do the filing cabinets in your office contain any of the following:

  • Records on your customers?
  • Vendor information?
  • Personnel files containing confidential information?
  • Proprietary information pertaining to your business?
  • Banking information for your business or clients?

Is any of the above information also stored on or accessed by a computer? If so, you need to continue reading.

It is difficult to do much business in the current environment without taking advantage of some of the conveniences afforded by technology. As businesses expand the use of time saving and efficiency-improving devices, those involved in organized crime are doing the same.

A Growing Threat

There are many sects in Eastern Europe, Asia and the United States that spend their time developing sophisticated phishing campaigns in which they attempt to access important confidential information on your computer, often without you knowing it. That information is then used in various ways; it could be held for ransom, it could be sold, or it could be used to steal from you, your customers, vendors or employees. Cyber crime is a growing threat to small businesses, and many of them do not even realize it.

If a cyber crime event were to happen to you, there are state and federal laws which may obligate you to take specific action. You may be required to notify everybody who could have been affected by a possible breach. You may be required to pay for credit monitoring services. You may face fines or penalties. This could result in your reputation being tarnished and could lead to a potential reduction of income.

Steps You Can Take

What can you do to reduce your chances of a cyber attack? Talk to your IT specialist about your exposure. Establish procedures with regard to the storing and accessing of data. Change your passwords frequently. Never open any suspicious emails or follow links unless you know who sent you the link and why.

Even with good controls in place, you may still be susceptible to a cyber attack. Because of this, there are insurance products that can help you avoid some of the costly consequences of such an occurrence. Note that no two cyber policies are the same, as every insurance company offers a slightly different policy. Call and speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members who can help craft a policy that is suited to your specific needs.

Joshua D. Crowder, AAI-M