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Ill-intentioned hackers across the globe are looking to defraud organizations of all sizes in an attempt to get rich. Cybercriminals find value in almost everything, and personal information – like Social Security numbers, bank account information, credit card information and addresses – are highly sought after.

The recent cyberattack against Colonial Pipeline has brought renewed attention to the growing threat that ransomware attacks and other cybercrimes pose to businesses of all sizes.

A report from McAfee estimated that global losses from cybercrime topped $1 trillion in 2020, and they are expected to skyrocket to more than $6 trillion in 2021, according to a report produced by Cybersecuirity Ventures.

The growth can be attributed to the pandemic as many businesses moved to remote work, which opened up more potential points of attack. Email is the weapon of choice for cybercriminals leading to more data breaches than any other method. A simple click can lead to devastating consequences.

Richard Boyer, president of Exchange Underwriters, a subsidiary of Community Bank, said businesses of all size should consider cyber liability insurance.

“Cyber liability remains the fastest growing area of insurance claims, and business owners with staff working remotely should consider ways to mitigate risk,” Boyer said. “Employees working from home on laptops provide hackers with ample opportunity.”

Exchange Underwriters offers Cyberpeaceofmind, a policy which provides $250,000 of cyber coverage for $250 a year.

“There’s a lot of businesses, especially small businesses, that don’t have any cyber protection,” Bill Cunningham, Exchange Underwriters’ chief operating officer, said. “This coverage is cheap and easy to get. There’s no application. This is a great way for beginners to protect themselves from cyberattacks.” Cunningham said that by simply having a website or storing credit card information, businesses are opening themselves up to attacks or breaches. He also said that businesses fail to realize that they have legal obligations to protect the confidential and personal information of their clients and customers.

“Business owners don’t realize where they could be exposed,” he said. “They don’t realize that they are liable.”

The policy also helps to guide businesses in the aftermath of a cyberattack or breach.

“Most businesses don’t know what to do after they have a breach,” Boyer said. “They get caught off guard. This policy offers 24/7 support to help you navigate a breach or attack.”

Frequently changing passwords, utilizing a credit monitoring service like LifeLock or Experian and offering employees cyber-safe training are all important steps businesses should take in addition to purchasing cyber liability insurance. Larger businesses should consider a policy with a higher limit of coverage.

“Businesses of all sizes need to implement and maintain good business practices and keep security systems upto-date,” Boyer said.

According to Fifthwall Solutions, the Warrendale-based company that provides Cyberpeaceofmind, 47% of breaches target small businesses, and 63% of small businesses have experienced a breach within the past 12 months.

“This really is becoming an epidemic,” Cunningham said. “Business owners make assumptions that attacks or breaches are covered under their general liability insurance policy, and it’s not. You need a specialized policy.”

Exchange Underwriters is a fullservice independent insurance agency located at 2111 North Franklin Road, Washington. For more information call 724-745-1600 or visit exchangeunderwriters.com.

Sponsored content brought to you by Exchange Underwriters.

A Community Bank Company.