Cyber Liability, Small Business

Cyber Liability Tips for Small Businesses

7/25/2019 | Stephanie Marsh

‘Twas the night before a data breach…. the insurance professionals were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of hackers danced in their heads.

Have you ever wondered what keeps insurance professionals up at night?  The answer to that question varies with respects to various situations and with response to current events.  When Pendleton, IN was struck by tornado activity this May, WalkerHughes professionals worried about their family, friends and clients in that area; hoping they did not have any injury or damage to their homes or businesses.  As most of Indiana got drenched with torrential downpour this summer, Personal Lines Sales Executive Mark Lynch took to his Facebook page to share his concern for his family, friends and clients with regards to water damage and backup of sewer and drain coverage on their homeowners insurance policies.  With news of the data breach we discussed in our cyber series last week that took place in La Porte county, WalkerHughes professionals worry about our business clients in all industries falling victim to a cyber-attack.  Our goal at WalkerHughes goes beyond simply having coverage in place to protect our clients should a claim arise, but to partner with them as a risk management resource to help prevent loss from occurring in the first place. 

While we can’t stop a tornado and unfortunately Mother Nature doesn’t always abide by our 'Sunny and 75' weather requests, we can provide tips for prevention with regards to Cyber Security. 

Let's Partner Together to Be Sure You're Prepared

Cybercrime, a tale as old as time.  While that statement does rhyme, it isn’t true.  Cybercrime isn’t old, it’s new!  It is so new in fact that it is catching many business and industries off guard and leaving huge exposures within their operations.  One trend that we have found in discussing cyber matters with local businesses, ownership and management are usually extremely aware of these risks.  However, the message often doesn’t trickle down within the entire organization and leaves employees uninformed about the daily dangers lurking within their computers and email inboxes.  This post is designed as a tool to share within your organization to start these conversations among your staff and generate awareness for this increasing threat.

Password Protected

Passwords are personal, however, often times they become very predictable and very general in nature.  As important as it is to stick with something you'll remember, it is equally as important to place a heightened emphasis on security as well.  The days of using passwords such as "111111", "123456", "ABCDEF", and "password" are behind us, it is time to add in some complexities as another layer of defense for security purposes and loss prevention.  When designing your passwords, be creative!  Remember, your passwords are private, make it unique to you!  Utilize a mix of numbers and characters along with letters and consider the use of a passPHRASE instead of just a passWORD. 

  • In$ur@anc3
  • TheFutureIsPURPLE
  • W@lkerHughesIsGR8

While a lot of these breaches do occur via the internet, they can also take place locally as well so be careful where you store your passwords.  Displayed on your desktop is not the most secure protection plan, it would be recommend to select a reputable password storage manager to keep your confidential credentials secure.

Prevention Practices 

There is no denying that these ladies and gentlemen who have dubbed themselves as 'hackers' are geniuses within their field.  They plan their attacks and they absolutely excel at creating them to look legitimate.  However, with proper examination and attention to detail, there are a few signs to look for that can help prevent following misguided instructions or clicking a link you shouldn’t.   

  • Always double check the email address of the sender. Occasionally email addresses can be off by just a character and at quick glance, appear as they are from the credible person they are impersonating.
  • Should a hacker gains access to your email account, they can create rules within the inbox to reroute emails to their other addresses, so the rightful owner of the account does not see any of the fraudulent activity. Get in a habit of periodically checking your ‘Rules’ and ‘Managing the Rules and Alerts’ within your inbox to make sure there is nothing suspicious taking place.
  • If a link has been sent for you to visit, complete or click to download, always hover your mouse over the link to review if the landing page is as it is supposed to be. For example, if the link indicates it is an Adobe attachment, but the web address reflects otherwise, do not click the link. 
  • Don’t ever be afraid to question the legitimacy of a request received via email. Be it from your boss or a client or even a personal matter, those who you do business with appreciate your attention to detail and the safeguarding of information in today’s digital age.

Is Your Business Protected?

Unsure if your current insurance program contains Cyber Liability coverage?  At WalkerHughes we are here to answer your questions, identify your gaps in coverage and provide you with insurance solutions.  We'd love to partner with your business so we can all 'sleep well at night' knowing coverage is in place in the event of a cyber-attack.