Are You Hearing Me Yet?

Cyber Cyber Cyber. The climate is ever changing but hackers continue to reap the benefits from businesses operating either under protected without any protection at all. Hackers are getting so smart. It isn’t only data being held for ransom anymore, although don’t get me started on how important real time backups are of your system. We heard the story last year that a business experienced a hack that changed the ACH account number for project payment. They lost over $100,000.00 because their payment was sent to someone else’s account.

AWC takes this issue very seriously and works with experts to ensure we understand and act proactively. Last quarter, I met with Dave Bell, our IT expert and member Cyber Solutions for our annual review. Additionally, I completed my annual cyber liability policy renewal attestation. I thought it a good time to readdress this important topic. I want to start with a few myth busters:

  • My business is small, and hackers are not going after me. False. You are EXACTLY who the hackers are going after.  Think about it – large companies have strong security systems in place and departments continually mitigating their risks. The easy targets are small business. I know of many members and others that have been breached. I think I get a letter a month from a larger corporation about a data breach.
  • I use preinstalled security software and multifactor, I’m protected. False. There are so many ways that a hackers can get into your system. Did you know one easy hack comes from a company employee opening an email on an unsecured Wi-Fi on their phone?
  • I have general liability insurance and it will cover any loss from a hacking incident. False. Cyber Liability Coverage is excluded from almost all general liability policies. This is a separate policy and if you read nothing else in this blog– GET A CYBER LIABILITY POLICY NOW!
  • Cyber Liability Coverage is easy to get if you want it. False. To get good coverage you need to operate with a strong cyber security focus. AWC has a strong cyber liability policy.  I will tell you that each year the requirements are more stringent for our renewal.  This year we needed to document a few incident response plans, legal data policies and verifications from our IT Advisor on our security implementations.

The importance of these two things – security and insurance cannot be put on the back burner. I asked our advisor to give me his best advice:

“The key to an effective cybersecurity strategy involves defense-in-depth which creates multiple barriers that attackers must overcome to access sensitive information or disrupt operations. These layers typically include network security, endpoint security, access controls, encryption, monitoring, and incident response protocols. Cyber Solutions understands the myriad of attack vectors that bad actors will use to exploit small businesses. This allows us to help our clients design a multi-layer approach to protect your data and operations.”

— Dave Bell, Cyber Solutions

Have I talked about this before? I have. And I will keep talking about this until every member gets protected. Cyber Insurance is expense – true statement. I can assure you one incident though could put you under if you are a small business. I highly recommend working with an IT advisor/company. I couldn’t go dig a trench on the highway competently, and I assure you that you can’t piecemeal a network to be secure. This isn’t a luxury item it is a necessity.

— B