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Protecting your company

Editorial | October 1, 2021 | By:

When you’re seeing the headlines about ransomware and cyberattacks, it’s tempting to think it won’t happen to you.

The reality is that small businesses often bear the brunt of these cyberattacks—more than half of all ransomware attacks last year were against small businesses, according to the U.S. Secret Service. Several IFAI members have suffered attacks as well.

One member, who was attacked in July, was still feeling the impact nearly two months later when I talked to a representative there in early September. While the company had been able to get up and running in about a week, many aspects of its operations were hindered for much longer.

According to Marsh McLennan Agency, IFAI’s preferred business insurance broker and risk management consultant, ransomware attacks have increased by 148 percent since the beginning of the pandemic. With more employees working remotely, company systems have been exposed to more risk than ever. 

Nothing can make you immune to an attack, but there are several steps you can take to protect your company.

It’s important to have a backup strategy that identifies how often data will be backed up and who is responsible for it.

Managing access to your network is crucial. Implementing safeguards like two-factor authentication and making sure employees are trained to look for phishing emails and other scams will also help protect your system.

Finally, consider investing in cyber insurance to help cover the costs of recovery. Most insurance companies also offer resources and guidance to help protect your firm.

And if the worst does happen, think about how you will communicate with employees if company email and other communication systems are down. 

The average downtime resulting from a ransomware attack in 2020 was 21 days. What would happen to your business if you couldn’t do your job for three weeks?

Just like you should have a strategy in case of fire, flood or other natural disaster, protecting yourself against a cyberattack should be an important part of your planning.

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