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Technological advancements make life easier. But, they can come at a cost. Every day it seems like another data breach story hits the news. As individuals and families use more technology, there is a lot at stake when it comes to protecting themselves online.

We increasingly rely on the Internet to work, bank, shop, and socialize. Our health and financial information is stored online and devices are connected to control everything from home security systems to thermostats and TVs. While convenient, these connections open the door for possible malicious activity.

Small companies are targets for hackers as they possess sensitive information but typically have less security than larger companies. Cybersecurity insurance provides coverage for compromised security or privacy breaches at work. Business cybersecurity policies tend to be highly customized and therefore, costly.

What Small Business Owners Need to Know

1. What coverage does my business need?

If you are a small business owner, you may need more insurance coverage than others. Talk to your insurance agents to understand options for protecting financial data or other sensitive information.

Conduct a security and self-risk assessment. Determine what to protect, what protections exist, and where the gaps exist. Identify the tools you need to protect this information.

2. Are we doing enough to prevent attacks?

Small businesses lose an average of $38,000 per cybersecurity incident, causing nearly 60 percent of impacted businesses to shutter their doors within six months. Affordable programs are available that won't conflict with your antivirus software. Learn the landscape and have an understanding of protecting your most valuable digital assets.

3. What about the staff?


Implement sound cybersecurity procedures and training for employees. Educate employees on smart use of social media, how to spot suspicious emails, and not connecting to public Wi-Fi on a company device.

4. Does my business need a recovery plan?


If your small business has a disaster recovery plan, consider cybersecurity insurance as part of it. If you don't have such a plan, consider creating one. Developing procedures and identifying threats is important but you also must understand your vulnerabilities.

Always back up important business systems and data. Implement settings encouraging regular password changes, restrictions on the websites employees can access, as well as strong security software.

This article is provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Learn more from a licensed financial advisor using our one-of-a-kind Find An Advisor tool.