Cyber crime is in the news again, with businesses and municipalities under attack by threats ranging from ransomware and denial-of-service attacks to malware and phishing. Cyber crime costs nearly $600 billion per year worldwide and can be particularly devastating to businesses. More than half of small businesses go out of business within 6 months following a cyber-attack.
The network is the back door to your business and cyber criminals want in. A variety of common attack types provide ways to steal proprietary information, steal customer data or to take control of machines and hard drives, holding your files for ransom.
Denial-of-service attacks: Also called a DDOS, a distributed denial of service attack floods a server with more traffic than it can handle, resulting in business interruption, frustrated customers, delayed orders, and a number of other disruptions.

Malware: Malware is software that can operate silently in the background, monitoring keystrokes and user actions and then sending the information it collects to the attacker. Finding passwords and document locations in the data collected can be trivial once a network is infected.

Ransomware: Another growing threat is ransomware, which is software that encrypts the files in a targeted network, preventing users from accessing the files and often bringing business to a grinding halt. The attacker then offers to decrypt the locked files in exchange for a ransom payment in an untraceable cryptocurrency.

Phishing: One of the oldest forms of cyber-attacks, phishing remains a threat because cyber criminals have become more skilled at impersonating emails from trusted sources. An email from a bank, client, or provider may not be what it seems, instead leading the user to a malicious attachment or dubious link.

The costs to businesses from various forms of cyber-attacks can be devastating. Expenses can range from the cost of remediation and customer notification expenses to costly lawsuits. In the event of ransomware, in which 70% of the attacks target small businesses, the median amount for ransom demands is 5 figures with the average ballooning to over $100,000 due to much larger demand amounts.

Cyber insurance is a newer type of coverage that specifically safeguards against cyber-attacks and the costs associated with these attacks. Your cyber insurance coverage can cover your related business losses and your liability for the losses to others resulting from your business’s electronic activity. In today’s high-tech world, analog risks aren’t the only risks to consider. Cyber insurance can protect your business in ways a standard business insurance policy can’t, safeguarding your business from data breach losses, ransomware, and more. Contact your broker today and have the conversation.