Small business equals small cyber-risk? That couldn’t be more incorrect.
Certainly the high profile cyberattacks in the news tend to be about the large, well-recognized organizations, so that might lead to a false sense of security for your small and midsize business (SMB) clients. Many incorrectly assume that they’re not large enough to provide a tempting target to hackers.
SMB clients beware! The statistics tell an ever increasingly alarming story. Recent numbers show:
43% cyber attacks target small business.
87% of SMBs have no official written internet policy in place.
14% rate their ability to mitigate cyber risks, vulnerabilities and attacks as highly effective.
75% have no cyber risk insurance.
60% go out of business within six months of a cyber attack.
It’s a dangerous trend. 87 percent of SMBs don’t feel they’re at risk, yet recent statistics show that hackers have breached half of all small businesses in the United States. And SMB cyber attacks will only increase in frequency and severity if these trends don’t change. Why? Hackers find the easiest way to go. As small businesses spend far less on network security and have fewer resources to combat attack, they provide an easy target to experienced hackers
The Independent Agent’s Role: You can be a critical player in the fight to protect SMBs from cyber risks. How?
Step one is to educate yourself, so you can in turn educate your business clients. For PIA members, Cyber 101, created by The PIA Partnership is an outstanding resource for cyber education, with information for you and your clients, and monthly webinars on what they have identified as the seven primary cyber exposures. PIA members and those appointed by Partnership companies may access Cyber 101 here. Not yet a member? Join PIA of Kentucky today.
Help your clients (and your agency) implement steps to reduce risks and increase security.
Protect customer information, including email addresses, phone numbers and billing addresses. Small businesses “feel” that they don’t store any valuable data, when in fact these items are of significant value to cyber criminals. Databases should be encrypted.
Regularly upgrade software solutions.
Monitor business credit reports.
Establish and enforce a password policy.
Develop, and regularly review, a written cybersecurity policy.
• Obtain Cyber Risk Insurance
Why opt for cybersecurity insurance? What's the direct benefit for your SMB clients (and your agency)?
Like other business insurance, cyber policies offer a buffer against potential damages. Just the act of implementing cyber coverage often improves cyber security, as businesses will review their current cyber policies, and make necessary improvements in the process. And taking their customers security seriously improves loyalty, as people have little patience for businesses that don’t protect their data.
PIA has partnered with ABA Insurance Services and selected Great American Insurance Company (rated A+ by A.M. Best) as the premier carrier for the PIA cyber insurance program. This robust program addresses the specific cyber insurance needs of small to medium businesses, at significantly discounted rates. Contact your Kentucky PIA to learn more.
Taking the time to understand cyber risk, to properly protect your agency, and to assist your business clients in properly protecting themselves is one important way you can establish yourself as a valued partner rather than simply a salesperson.
“5 Ways to Talk to Midsize Businesses About Cyber Liability”, by Kurt Meister, January 11, 2018, PropertyCasualty360.com