I have the greatest respect for the small business owner. Mom and Pop shops and Main Street businesses are the core of this country. Our business, WRG, was founded as a small insurance agency back in 1864, on the corner of Main and South Streets in Warwick, NY, and grew to the bi-coastal company that exists today due to hard work and determination. Many of our clients are our neighbors and are still the heart of of our company.
We look out for each other. We give each other sound advice. We help each other grow and thrive and enjoy each others successes.
When discussing insurance with small business owners, I have encountered individuals who are rapt and captivated when discussing their companies insurance needs, they often listen intently ... until Cyber-Insurance is mentioned, and then they scowl, seem perplexed and shake their heads. When I inquire why they are so resistant as to considering Cyber-Insurance, they simply state that they don't feel that it is something that will every effect them.
At WRG, we have always been at the forefront of the cyber-insurace industry since it has been introduced around 2000, and have been involved in the insurance profession for over 30 years. So I want to bring the following information to all small business (and large business) owners attention:
On November 12th, Nationwide Insurance released the following survey results from a recent Harris Poll that they commissioned. The results are not surprising:
- Eight out of 10 small business owners, (79 percent) do not have a cyber attack response plan.
- YET 63 percent of them have admitted to being victims of a cyber attack within the last year
- AND 73 percent are concerned that they will be affected by a data breach.
When asked why they have not taken steps to plan for a cyber attack, 46 percent felt that their current software will keep them secure, and 40 percent said that they do not feel that their company will receive a/another cyber attack.
So this leads to a comparison that I like to make. I often ask them if they possess Auto or Homeowners insurance? Almost all respond, "Yes, they do." Then I ask them why, and they remark that that they have insurance just in case something happens to their car or home.
- There is a 30% chance of being involved in an auto accident in your lifetime*
- There is a 25% chance of a “reported” home fire in an average lifetime**
Statistically you have a higher chance of a data breach then an auto accident or house fire. And although any tragedy is devastating to your life, what helps you to recover and rebuild is insurance.
My advice after years in this industry is, as a small business owner, you take the time to do the following as soon as possible.
1. Devise a Cyber-Breach Plan of Action: There are dozens of websites that can supply you with a structure and framework as to what steps need to be taken if a data breach hits your business. All employees and contractors should be aware of the Plan, so that each individual knows their responsibility in containing the damage and notifying the proper authorities.
2. Contact a Security Solutions Specialist: There are dozens of consultants that can look at your current computer configuration and look for possible weak points, recommend software that has the ability to protect your data, and train your staff on how to keep their data secure.
3. Discuss your Cyber Insurance Needs with an Insurance Agent that specializes in Cyber and Privacy: Such as the experts at Warwick Resource Group. :)
Links to help you plan accordingly for the possibility of a cyber-attack:
*Statistics from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
**According to the National Fire Protection Association.