The number of cyberattacks against businesses of all sizes is growing daily. Attacks with data encrypting ransomware can cripple a business by making it unable to service internal and external users. Malicious phishing campaigns attempt to compromise login credentials to enable unauthorized access to sensitive data resources. Maintaining the security of a company’s information technology (IT) environment has never been more important.
Over 40% of attacks are perpetrated against small and medium size businesses (SMBs). The effects of an attack can be extended downtime and lost customers. It can also involve the loss of sensitive information that can lead to regulatory penalties. In some cases, companies can be put out of business by the impact of a successful cyberattack.
We are going to look at how combining the benefits of cyber insurance and cybersecurity services helps protect companies from the damaging effects of a cyberattack.
What Makes a Company a Target for Cybercriminals?
Any company that stores or processes sensitive information is an attractive target for cybercriminals. Two types of data, in particular, that are prized by cybercriminals.
- A company that accepts credit card payments processes sensitive data that is subject to l Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) regulations regarding its privacy and security. In the modern world of e-commerce, this encompasses virtually every business with an online presence. Failure to adhere to the regulations can lead to substantial financial penalties.
- Companies operating in the U.S. healthcare industry also process sensitive protected healthcare information (PHI). Privacy and security standards for this data are defined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). In the event of a data breach, companies found to be in noncompliance with HIPAA regulations are subject to serious monetary fines.
Compromising these data resources provides sensitive information about individuals that can be used by criminals. The fact that these data types are regulated makes it even more important for businesses to eliminate data breaches. They may be more willing to meet the demands of a ransomware gang to avoid adverse publicity.
What is Cyber Insurance?
Businesses processing sensitive information need to take every step necessary to maintain its privacy and security. They also have to protect themselves in the event that, despite their best efforts, a data breach involving sensitive data occurs. Cyber insurance offers that protection.
Cyber insurance is also called risk insurance or cyber liability insurance coverage. It’s an insurance policy that helps protect an organization in the wake of a cyberattack. The insurance is designed to assist a business reduce operational disruptions and recover after a successful attack. Cyber insurance can also help defray the financial costs of the attack and a company’s recovery efforts.
Items commonly covered by a cyber insurance policy include:
- Lost revenue due to downtime or encryption of the customer’s IT systems;
- Lost revenue due to downtime or encryption of a third-party provider’s IT systems;
- The costs of meeting ransomware demands;
- Costs associated with recovering systems and data resources;
- Network security and privacy liability;
- The expenses of responding to and remediating a data breach.
Various types of cyber insurance policies are available from reputable insurers like DataStream Cyber Insurance. The coverage from a viable policy that provides resilience against cyberattacks should include:
- Data breaches – Assistance with breach response and remediation;
- First-party liability – Provides coverage to first parties regarding issues such as system failure, fund transfer fraud, and loss of employee devices;
- Third-party liability – Ensures customers are protected across their supply chain;
- Business interruption – Covers the cost of restoring business operations;
- Cyber extortion – Provides legal and IT experts to handle ransomware attacks.
A cyber insurance policy can be the difference between a company surviving or failing after a cyber attack. While the goal should always be to prevent data breaches and cyberattacks, no defense is foolproof. A breach can occur due to human error or a malicious insider that subverts a company’s security strategy. Cyber insurance enables an organization to recover and continue to operate its business.
What are Cyber Security Services?
Many small businesses lack the in-house resources to implement a successful cybersecurity strategy. Cyber security services are methods and techniques offered by a managed service provider (MSP) that strengthen an organization’s IT security. MSPs implement industry best practices to address any vulnerabilities in a company’s security standing.
A wide range of cyber security services are available that can be tailored to an organization’s business requirements. The following cyber security services are among the offerings available from a reliable MSP.
- Managed firewall – A managed firewall protects a customer’s network while allowing them to concentrate on their business. Each network layer is protected with security that exceeds industry standards.
- Intrusion protection – An intrusion protection system works in conjunction with network firewalls to identify and prevent threats in real-time.
- Anti-malware protection – Cybersecurity includes identifying and eliminating malware before it can damage a company’s infrastructure and data resources.
- Managed VPNs – This service manages, maintains, and resolves problems with your VPNs so remote employees can securely access company assets.
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA) – MFA is one of the best ways to minimize unauthorized access to company IT resources. An MSP will assist in configuring MFA to secure an organization’s infrastructure.
- Onsite and offsite backups – Maintaining backups for recovery from human error or cyberattacks is critical for data-driven companies. Backups should be taken regularly and sent offsite for disaster recovery.
- Vulnerability assessments – An MSP can perform initial and ongoing vulnerability scans to identify security gaps. Assessments need to be performed regularly in dynamic environments where change is constant.
Some MSPs offer security service packages designed to address the security concerns of regulated industries. Healthcare organizations can implement HIPAA-compliant security measures to protect patient information. Companies processing credit cards can take advantage of cyber security services that address compliance with PCI-DSS standards.
The Benefits of a Comprehensive Approach to Cybersecurity
A comprehensive approach to cybersecurity includes both cybersecurity services and cyber insurance. While cyber insurance is designed to assist companies affected by a cyberattack, security services are meant to prevent or minimize the impact of an attack. You can think of security services as contributing to an organization’s first line of defense against cybercriminals. Cyber insurance is available to address threats that slip through the defenses.
Beginning with a vulnerability assessment, Atlantic.Net will identify areas that need enhanced security. They can specifically address the needs of companies requiring a HIPAA or PCI-compliant infrastructure or configure security services to fit your business needs. Regularly repeated scans will ensure that no new cracks in the defenses have opened and that all new infrastructure components are protected.
DataStream will analyze your current IT and cybersecurity stack when you engage them as your cyber insurance provider. They show you how your security risk compares to other organizations of similar size. Their cyber risk analysis incorporates over 3,000 risk factors to produce a comprehensive view of your security standing.
The combination of cybersecurity services from Atlantic.Net and cyber insurance from DataStream Cyber Insurance provides the maximum level of protection against cyberattacks. The risk of a successful cyberattack will be minimized and you will be protected if something does slip through.
About the author
Robert is a regular contributor and blogger for Atlantic.Net living in Northeastern Pennsylvania who specializes in various information technology topics. He brings over 30 years of IT experience to the table with a focus on backup, disaster recovery, security, compliance, and the cloud.