Every year, U.S. businesses face several risks, including natural disasters, theft, vandalism, and fire damage, which cause substantial financial harm. That’s why about 25% of businesses fail within the first year, with at least 40% of them never reopening, as reported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Cybercrime is another threat to businesses of all sizes, costing individual Americans and businesses about $3.5 billion every year, says the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). Since cyberattacks have become prevalent, you need to make your business more cyber resilient in a COVID-19 world. Here are some of the reasons why you need to tighten your cybersecurity measures.
The Rise of Telecommuting
More than 40% of American employees are currently telecommuting due to pandemic-related movement restrictions, as reported by the Stanford University. One of the major disadvantages of telecommuting is that it exposes your business’s computer network to a greater risk of cyberattacks, such as phishing and malware attacks. This means that you need to make your business more cyber resilient to protect your data and network system. To achieve this, ensure you train your employees to observe precautionary measures such as:
• Using strong passwords
• Not clicking on malicious links and emails
• Not visiting restricted sites
Cyberattacks Have Increased
A recent study from the University of Maryland indicates that a cyberattack happens every 39 seconds on average. Unfortunately, the rate has gone up during COVID-19 because most people are online. For example, between January and April 2020 alone, Interpol detected about 907,000 spam messages, 48,000 malicious links, and 737 malware incidents, all related to COVID-19. Cyberattacks of this nature are bound to continue and will take advantage of any lapses in your business’s cybersecurity, so it is important to bolster your cybersecurity now.
To Protect Business Finances
While cyberattacks cost businesses and individuals about $3.5 billion annually, the U.S. economy suffers more than $100 billion worth of losses to cyberattacks every year. This means that your business is also at risk of losing a lot of money if a cyberattack happens. Losses from a cyberattack can come from issues such as increased cyber insurance premiums, business interruption, loss of customers, loss of intellectual property, and regulatory incompliance fines. Therefore, protecting your business finances should be the number one reason to increase your cyber resilience.
Ways to Become Cyber Resilient
While facing huge cyber risks during this pandemic, your business should have strong measures in place for cyber resilience. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), some of the steps you can take to enhance your business cybersecurity include:
• Training your employees to stay safe on the internet
• Using business devices on a secure network
• Installing a strong firewall in your business network system
• Updating your software and computer systems regularly
• Restricting certain sites from your business devices
• Installing strong anti-virus and anti-malware protection
• Backing up important data off-site
Although some measures may not fully protect your system, they can help limit cyberattacks or slow them down. Nevertheless, you should purchase the right insurance to help your business bounce back in case of an interruption due to a cyberattack.
These are some of the reasons why all businesses, regardless of their size, need to be cyber resilient in a COVID-19 world. For your business to become even more secure, it needs the right cyber insurance coverage. Contact the experts at Knight Insurance Services for all your cyber insurance liability coverage needs. We understand the devastating impact cyber risks can have on your business and will help you get the right coverage.