Understanding Your Cyber Exposure Index: Minimizing Risk

Each day, the amount of cyber crimes increase. As cyber attacks evolve, our defenses against them must evolve as well. However, as with most risks, the number one defense is prevention. Protecting yourself from possible cyber attacks is the most effective approach. Once a cyber attack occurs, the damages can become hard to mitigate. Understanding your cyber exposure index can help you determine how best to protect your organization.

The cost of the aftermath of a cyber attack is so high, it can often lead to bankruptcy. Based on a report by CNBC, 43% of online attacks are now aimed at small businesses, while only 14% of small businesses are prepared to defend themselves. Hiscox, a ProWriters partner, reported that roughly 60% of small businesses go out of business within six months of a cyber attack as these incidents now cost $200,000, on average.

It’s more important than ever that small businesses take both their cyber security protections and policies seriously.

Preventing a Cyber Attack

Let us reiterate, the first step in limiting your cyber exposure is to prevent cyber attacks. Here are a number of ways to limit your risks:

  • Stay Up to Date
    Just like technology, cyber risks are changing every day. It’s important to stay up to date on the latest trends and warnings. Being familiar with examples of cyber exposures, like social engineering attacks, are your first defense against them. Red flags may include:

    • Clickbait
      A subject line in an email calling for immediate action or a voicemail warning of late payment can be hackers trying to send you into a panic to hastily take action.
    • Generic Intros
      Scammers are always fishing for information and may send you an email that begins with “Dear Customer,” rather than addressing you by your actual name.
    • Spelling & Grammar Errors
      If you notice an unusual amount of spelling or grammatical errors in an email or on a website, think twice before clicking any links and take a closer look at the source.
  • Keep Your System’s Software Up to Date
    While those pesky reminders to update your software can be aggravating, don’t ignore them. The only way your system can protect against cyber attacks is if it’s consistently up to date. Cyber attacks are going to evolve so your system has to as well.
  • Close up of hands typing on a laptop with a graphic of a black shield with a keyhole symbolizes cyber security. Review Your Current Cyber Security Posture
    In order to understand your cyber exposure index, it’s important to review all of your risks and cyber security policies. Focus on vulnerability management. Who is in charge of your security teams? How is your confidential information protected? How will you protect customer data? Who will be affected in the event this information is breached? ProWriters partner, Chubb, offers insight on your industry’s specific cyber threats with their Chubb Cyber Index. Input your industry, company revenue, region, and the date range for a specific break down on cyber incidents to help you better understand how you may be at risk.
  • Create a Breach Response Plan
    Lock down a plan of how you’re going to respond to a breach as a precaution. Designate what roles will be needed and which individuals will handle what responsibilities. Should a breach occur, all parties can then act immediately to mitigate the potential damages. A slow response to a breach could result in devastating damages to your organization.
  • Select a Competent Cyber Liability Insurance Carrier
    It’s essential that you have a cyber liability policy in effect before a possible attack. Making sure you’ve selected the right insurance carrier can make or break your organization in the event of a cyber attack. The right policy and carrier are imperative in your cyber protection.

Recovering From a Cyber Attack

While your first steps should be focusing on preventing attacks, the reality is you will likely be one of the many victims of the thousands of data breaches that occur every day.

When the inevitable happens, a few important steps can help you substantially mitigate your damages.

  • Act Quickly
    The timeframe in which your data breach response plan comes into play has an enormous effect on the extent of damage a breach can cause. The faster your response, the quicker you can mitigate and minimize your damages. This is where having your data breach response plan set and ready can mean saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Be Transparent
    A data breach can often lead to a lack of public trust and a devastating blow to your company’s reputation. Customers and clients often feel a sense of trust has been broken when their information has been put at risk through your organization. Trying to cover up a cyber attack can only lead to further issues. It’s important to be open and honest about the breach in order to protect those who may have been affected.
  • Comply with Regulations
    PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) was established to protect the information of individuals who lend their PII (personally identifiable information) to large credit card companies. It’s important that you comply with all PCI DSS regulations in order to avoid major fines and penalties.

Partner With ProWriters

Protect your organization from the inevitable. Investing in a cyber liability insurance policy is investing in the future of your business. ProWriters offers more than 20 years of experience with access to leading vendors in the industry.

To speak with a ProWriters expert, contact us or call (484) 321-2335.