Cyber security for small businesses

Cyber Insurance and Protection

DYK – According to Statistics Canada survey, 20%-25% of businesses in Canada admit they were breached.  This statistic could be closer to 50% if we include businesses who come forward with their breach.

Large hacks into sophisticated corporations hits main stream news on a regular basis.  These hacks all cause catastrophic damage in each situation.  Thousands to millions of user’s personal information is the target and to be held for ransom.  Hacking can have extreme implications on the success of a company or government.  Interestingly enough, what people don’t see, is that 43% of all cyber attacks are on small businesses.  This article will talk about cyber security and how to protect your business from such attacks.   We will also explain what can happen when one of these attacks occurs.

How to prevent cyber attacks or mitigate damage if attacked:

Password security: Make sure in addition to changing your passwords often, they should be unique and highly difficult to guess.  You should also try to avoid using the same password on multiple platforms.  For example, do not choose Password1 for your password, as it is relatively easy to guess.

When downloading programs and software from the internet, make sure to actually glance at the terms and conditions. You may want to really examine it, especially on a suspicious program.  Do not download software from sources that are not reputable.

  1. Make sure all your software is up to date. If anything is asking for updates, make sure you download them.  The reason for this is simple: most updates have bug fixes or security features that patch vulnerabilities that the previous version did not have.  This will help defend from attacks.
  2. Be on the look out for viruses/phishers. Phishing campaigns have skyrocketed from 18% in 2011 to 43% in 2015.  Be vigilant about what you click on, especially while on the web.
  3. Constantly maintain backups of data. Without backing up data, in the case of a compromise, you seriously will loose all your information.
  4. Company Emails: If you get an email making it look like someone from work you trust i.e. Colleague’s, boss etc. is emailing you, but using an email address that is not from the company domain, DO not answer. Recently, we have seen examples of “spear phishing” where fraudulent emails are sent out to employees at a company where they are pretending to be someone else from the company in an effort to gain access to confidential information or money.
  5. Malware: you must be constantly aware of malware which often is mistakenly downloaded. Once downloaded, the software can turn out to be viruses or ransomware.  The only way to be protected from this, is not to click or download anything that appears to be subroutine or suspicious.
  6. Phone calls: some cyber attacks are preceded by a work related phone call from a supposed company you do business with, or partner. This can establish account details, passwords or other sensitive information.  cyber attackers  are experts at persuasion, and are often highly experienced at it which makes it all more easier in the moment to fall into the trap.  If you do realize or suspect a potential breach, you must contact your IT department immediately due to the severity of the impact of the imminent attack.

Where does cybercrime come from?

Cybercrime, like other crime, is the work of criminals but it is practiced by those who have technological skills and use the internet to achieve their nefarious ends. Cybercriminals employ their diverse skill set to access bank accounts, steal identities, blackmail, defraud, stalk, and harass or use a compromised computer as part of a sophisticated botnet to stage DDoS attacks on large institutions.

How do I know if this is cybercrime?

To be able to tell, It depends on the type of attack.  Generally, either malware is downloaded onto your computer that slows it down and may give you error messages.  Phishing attacks usually involve getting emails from unknown sources in an attempt to trick you into divulging personal data.

How can I stop cybercrime?

You really can’t.  The proper authorities to deal with cybercrime are the police, national cyber security departments or commercial cybersecurity firms.  They are the only ones that have the knowledge and necessary tools to take care of a cybersecurity attack.  On a personal level, you can use antivirus software, to scan your system and remove potential files that could be spyware or viruses.   Removing dangerous files stops criminals from making money which is generically a primary motivation.

Cyber Insurance Protection

We offer comprehensive risk insurance coverage and assist services to make sure your business is protected in the event of a privacy breach.  Our cyber solution gives your business peace of mind, knowing you have insurance to pay for certain incident response expenses and the confidence that support services will be available to you.  Your customers’ trust and business reputation is critical to your growth.  Partner with a Breckles insurance broker to protect your business.

Services include:

  • Pre & post privacy breach services
  • Incidence response planning
  • Crisis management
  • Notification assistance
  • Media relations consulting
  • Educational resources such as data protection tips or encryption guides
  • Data breach regulations including third party notification requirements
  • Custom templates which can be used as part of an incidence response plan

Cyber Insurance Brochure Download

Check out the following Victor animated video, “A day in the life…”
Ransomware attack in action for an unsuspecting business owner.  Learn how taking the right steps can help protect against this growing threat!


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