PayneWest Blog

Are business owners neglecting cybersecurity?

 

Cybersecurity issues are frighteningly common these days. From spyware to ransomware, distributed-denial-of-service attacks to malicious downloads, their sinister plots have caused massive headaches for small and major organizations in the private and public sectors. In fact, during the previous six months, over 40 percent of information technology managers employed by government entities have experienced a breach, according to a survey conducted by cybersecurity company BeyondTrust.

Yet despite their frequency, polling suggests companies may not be doing all they can to stymie the development of these breaches.

The latest evidence of organizational ill-preparedness is in the financial services sector, among banks in particular. According to global professional services company Accenture, which polled roughly 300 senior security executives employed by banking institutions, nearly 60 percent admitted it would likely take them several months before detecting a virus or worm had penetrated their servers. The poll's respondents would know, indicating that the banks they worked for experienced 85 "serious attempted cyber breaches" during the typical year.

Most businesses 'confident' in security strategy
This isn't to suggest financial institutions aren't taking proactive measures. Nearly 80 percent of senior executives in the Accenture survey expressed confidence that their cybersecurity strategies were, on the whole, effective. That being said, businesses have plenty of room for improvement, noted Chris Thompson, head of financial services cybersecurity and resilience at Accenture.

"Most cybersecurity assessment programs, while well-intentioned, are highly theoretical and based on known cyberattack practices," Thompson. The reality, however, is very different. Fast-moving, dynamic threats are creating new challenges every day."

Nearly 3 in 4 small businesses hacked in 2015
Small-business owners are similarly threatened, as hackers are increasingly setting their sights on these "soft targets," hoping to catch entrepreneurs off guard. In 2015, for example, more than 70 percent of small businesses experienced a malware-related security breach, according to polling performed by Osterman Research of 308 IT professionals. Additionally, nearly 45 percent of companies were unsuccessful in preventing so-called "phishing" scams. These attacks are launched by hackers who pose as legitimate companies, when in reality they're wolves in sheep's clothing out to steal businesses' financial data by sending malicious emails as bait.

Michael Osterman, principal analyst at Osterman Research, cautioned small-business owners against the notion that these attacks can't happen to them.

"These findings fully debunk the frequent misconception that 'my organization is too small to attract cybercriminals," Osterman said.

Most cybersecurity experts caution against paying ransom, as there's no guarantee data will be unencrypted once demands are met.Most cybersecurity experts caution against paying ransom, as there's no guarantee data will be unencrypted once demands are met.

"At least 200,000 computers have been infected by the 'WannaCry' virus."

Latest ransomware assault felt in 150 countries
Scammers seem to be upping the ante with every attack launched. Earlier this spring, in fact, tens of thousands of businesses in roughly 150 countries were compromised by ransomware. A form of malware, these attacks are similar to phishing, in that they spread by clicking on links embedded within emails. But their effects can be particularly devastating, encrypting users' data until these victims pay a certain amount - hence the "ransom" distinction. The Wall Street Journal reported at least 200,000 systems around the world were infected, including several household-name companies, such as FedEx, Nissan Motor Co. and French automaker Renault.

Health care organizations were adversely impacted as well, forcing hospitals to send many patients home because their servers were down, unable to access electronic medical records.

"The attack was global in reach, and its impact was significant," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of nonprofit group National Cybersecurity Alliance. "When we see whole systems like the National Health System in the United Kingdom directly targeted, it reinforces how dependent we have become on our data-driven networks."

He added that businesses and organizations can't overemphasize the importance of being proactive, utilizing reliable cybersecurity strategies that provide reinforcements needed to slow or prevent breaches from taking place. Basic "cyber hygiene" protocols include changing passwords on a more consistent basis, updating software as soon as security patches become available and backing up stored data.

"We hope organizations around the world will see this attack as a learning experience and begin to engage in adoption of better cybersecurity practices," Kaiser advised.

If there's anything that's worthy of a multi-layered protection approach, it's cyberwarfare. Hackers are constantly refining their strategies, seeking for any and all vulnerabilities to exploit. Business owners are especially vulnerable, noted Brad Huse, regional sales director of commercial insurance at PayneWest.

"Business owners can no longer ignore or take a wait and see approach and if this risk isn't aptly addressed there is potential for financial loss, reputation damage and business interruption," Huse warned. "A robust and comprehensive cyber risk management plan and cyber insurance program is a necessity."

PayneWest Insurance provides the coverage businesses need to overcome security scares, providing them with the provisions they need to remain resilient when viruses lead to production disruptions.

Keep Up To Date

Subscribe to our blog for all the latest news, updates, and events from Paynewest and our partners

Subscribe

Tell us what you need. We’ll take it from there.

Get a Quote


    YesNo











        First, tell us about you:






        EmailPhone


        Next, tell us about your business:






        Now tell us about the coverage or coverages you need:


        Commercial InsuranceEmployee BenefitsHealth InsuranceSuretyOther


        NOTE: Before becoming effective, all changes, bind orders, or claim notifications must be confirmed by a PayneWest Insurance representative advising that your request has been processed.

        You are ready to submit the form:


          First, tell us about you:






          EmailPhone





          Next, tell us about the coverage or coverages you need:


          AutoHomeIndividual HealthUmbrellaRecreationalWatercraftRenter’s InsuranceLife InsuranceWedding Insurance


          NOTE: Before becoming effective, all changes, bind orders, or claim notifications must be confirmed by a PayneWest Insurance representative advising that your request has been processed.

          Now you are ready to submit the form:


            First, tell us about you:






            EmailPhone





            Next, tell us about the coverage or coverages you need:


            AutoHomeIndividual HealthUmbrellaRecreationalWatercraftRenter’s InsuranceLife InsuranceWedding Insurance


            NOTE: Before becoming effective, all changes, bind orders, or claim notifications must be confirmed by a PayneWest Insurance representative advising that your request has been processed.

            Now you are ready to submit the form:


              First, tell us about you:






              EmailPhone


              Next, tell us about your business:






              Now tell us about the coverage or coverages you need:


              Commercial InsuranceEmployee BenefitsHealth InsuranceSuretyOther


              NOTE: Before becoming effective, all changes, bind orders, or claim notifications must be confirmed by a PayneWest Insurance representative advising that your request has been processed.

              You are ready to submit the form:


                First, tell us about you:






                EmailPhone






                Next, tell us about the coverage or coverages you need:


                AutoHomeIndividual HealthUmbrellaRecreationalWatercraftRenter’s InsuranceLife InsuranceWedding Insurance

                Commercial InsuranceEmployee BenefitsEmployee Health InsuranceSurety


                NOTE: Before becoming effective, all changes, bind orders, or claim notifications must be confirmed by a PayneWest Insurance representative advising that your request has been processed.

                Now you are ready to submit the form:





                    First, tell us about you:






                    EmailPhone




                    Step 1 of 2Next

                    Next, tell us about the coverage or coverages you need:


                    AutoHomeIndividual HealthUmbrellaRecreational

                     

                    WatercraftRenter’s InsuranceLife InsuranceWedding Insurance



                    NOTE: Before becoming effective, all changes, bind orders, or claim notifications must be confirmed by a PayneWest Insurance representative advising that your request has been processed.

                    Now you are ready to submit the form:


                      First, tell us about you:






                      EmailPhone

                      Step 1 of 3Next

                      Next, tell us about your business:





                      Step 2 of 3Next

                      Now tell us about the coverage or coverages you need:


                      Commercial InsuranceEmployee BenefitsHealth InsuranceSuretyOther


                      NOTE: Before becoming effective, all changes, bind orders, or claim notifications must be confirmed by a PayneWest Insurance representative advising that your request has been processed.

                      You are ready to submit the form:


                        First, tell us about you:






                        EmailPhone




                        Step 1 of 2Next



                        NOTE: Before becoming effective, all changes, bind orders, or claim notifications must be confirmed by a PayneWest Insurance representative advising that your request has been processed.

                        Now you are ready to submit the form:


                          Thank you for your feedback and support

                          Please complete the following form to let us know your thoughts:









                            First, tell us about you:






                            EmailPhone







                            NOTE: Before becoming effective, all changes, bind orders, or claim notifications must be confirmed by a PayneWest Insurance representative advising that your request has been processed.

                            Now you are ready to submit the form:


                              First, tell us about you:






                              EmailPhone





                              Next, tell us about your claim:






                              NOTE: Before becoming effective, all changes, bind orders, or claim notifications must be confirmed by a PayneWest Insurance representative advising that your request has been processed.

                              Now you are ready to submit the form:


                                First, tell us about you and your business:







                                EmailPhone


                                Next, tell us about the surety bond you need:







                                NOTE: Before becoming effective, all changes, bind orders, or claim notifications must be confirmed by a PayneWest Insurance representative advising that your request has been processed.

                                Now you are ready to submit the form:


                                  First, tell us about you:






                                  EmailPhone


                                  Next, tell us about your business:






                                  Now tell us about the coverage or coverages you need:


                                  Commercial InsuranceEmployee BenefitsHealth InsuranceSuretyOther


                                  NOTE: Before becoming effective, all changes, bind orders, or claim notifications must be confirmed by a PayneWest Insurance representative advising that your request has been processed.

                                  You are ready to submit the form:


                                    First, tell us about you:






                                    EmailPhone





                                    Next, tell us about the coverage or coverages you need:


                                    AutoHomeIndividual HealthUmbrellaRecreationalWatercraftRenter’s InsuranceLife InsuranceWedding Insurance


                                    NOTE: Before becoming effective, all changes, bind orders, or claim notifications must be confirmed by a PayneWest Insurance representative advising that your request has been processed.

                                    Now you are ready to submit the form:


                                      First, tell us about you:






                                      EmailPhone






                                      Do you have insurance with us already?




                                      Tell us what you need:




                                      NOTE: Before becoming effective, all changes, bind orders, or claim notifications must be confirmed by a PayneWest Insurance representative advising that your request has been processed.

                                      Now you are ready to submit the form:

                                      cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram