Small business, smaller risk of a cyberattack? Not quite.
Small businesses are still susceptible to cybersecurity threats. Whether your business consists of a single person or a number of employees, you must be protected.
One in five small firms say they’ve experienced a cyberattack at one point. And many don’t think they have the finances or time to set up security precautions – or in some cases – don’t realise the need to. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
There are a few simple steps you can take to remain protected. And they could make you eligible for all-important cyber insurance cover.
Why do you need cyber insurance?
Many sophisticated cyber threats exist today. Phishing, malware, ransomware, hacking; the list could go on. Having cyber insurance in your business will help you recover faster if an incident occurs. If your business deals with sensitive customer data, does a lot of business over the internet or doesn’t have coverage from any external cybersecurity providers, cyber insurance is worth investigating.
Cyber insurance includes coverage for damage or loss of information from IT systems and networks. This includes both first-party and third-party risks, depending on your insurance plan.
- First-party risks: This includes anything that could impact your business assets. For example, a cyber-attack on your software or theft of digital assets.
- Third-party risks: This covers the assets of others, like your customers. For example, security and privacy breaches of customer data.
For a small business, cybersecurity insurance is pivotal for protecting you in worst-case scenarios. So, how can a small business obtain cybersecurity insurance?
How to overcome cyber insurance challenges as a small business
Just like any other type of insurance, you need to meet your providers’ criteria.
Every cybersecurity insurance provider will have its own process, but the typical route to qualify will range from a simple questionnaire to a detailed analysis of your cybersecurity environment by your insurer.
Meeting basic cybersecurity standards will make your small business significantly more likely to qualify.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Keep software up-to-date and protected
Keeping your software equipped with antivirus protection is a surefire way of avoiding basic cybersecurity threats. And ensuring that all your programs are regularly patched keeps your systems in line with your manufacturer’s latest cybersecurity updates.
By taking these basic measures, insurers will see your business as more trustworthy.
2. Protect your network with a firewall
A firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls your network traffic. Its parameters are based on predetermined security rules across incoming and outgoing traffic. It creates an effective barrier between your network, and anything considered an ‘untrusted’ network – an opportune place for cybersecurity threats to creep in.
By implementing one, insurers can recognise that you’ve reduced the chance of a cybersecurity threat occurring.
3. Implement regular security checks
Not every small business owner is expected to understand the ins and outs of cybersecurity. Instead, smart cybersecurity software can help you manage regular security checks and provide monitoring, 24/7.
The best software can also act as an educational tool – providing greater awareness about cybersecurity training opportunities, policies you can implement, and giving your people more control of their own cybersecurity. This shows insurers that you’re taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity.
4. Regularly back up your data
Insurers want you to minimise the risk of data loss as it’s costly and impacts your reputation.
Make sure your data is backed up using external media or a secure cloud service. Consider that you need to manage and store first-party and third-party data in different ways.
5. Manage user access rights and permissions
User access rights are an important part of staying secure. You want to make sure only the right people have access to sensitive data, without impacting anyone’s ability to do their actual job.
In a business, enforcing a ‘least privilege access’ policy is a common way of managing access rights. This is a policy that only allows users to have the minimum level of access or permissions needed to perform their jobs, and nothing more. It restricts access rights to only users, accounts, and processes that require certain types of data.
This creates a safer environment for your data and it helps to protect employees from causing accidental or harmful actions, thus reducing risks for insurers.
Improve your cyber hygiene to get cyber insurance
‘Cyber hygiene’ is the steps your business can take to protect itself from cyberattacks, like the list above.
It’s like the practice of washing your hands – but for cybersecurity. Cyber insurance providers look for businesses with good cyber hygiene practices in place, as you’re less likely to be impacted by cyber threats.
Alongside the list above, a cybersecurity certification is also a great method of overcoming cyber insurance challenges and improving your cyber hygiene. It can provide all the protection you need, and more, and is created by the UK government – making it ideal for small businesses looking for industry-standard protection.