Nearly 60 percent of small businesses will close within six months of a cyber attack.
This chilling statistic was disclosed recently by U.S. Rep. Chris Collins (R, N.Y.)
At the same time, three in every four small businesses don’t believe an attack will hit them – according to a National Cyber Security Alliance and Symantec survey -- and figure the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) or the bank itself will compensate any financial losses.
But the potential for loss is great. Bloomberg has reported that more than $1 billion is stolen annually from bank accounts.
According to Bloomberg, money gets transferred 73 percent of the time, according to a Guardian Analytics and Ponemon Institute study. Money was lost in 61 percent of the attacks.
Marc Kramer co-founder of Commercial Deposit Insurance Agency, Inc. (www.cdiaus.com) offers these suggestions for guarding against cyber theft.
- Consider operating dual computers systems. One’s for banking only, with the other for the rest of the company operations.
- Turn off computers when not in use.
- Develop strong passwords. Keep firewalls on.
- Install or update antivirus software and antispyware technology.
- Keep operating systems up to date.
- Be careful about downloads.
- Authenticate everything with the company’s bank -- especially anything that’s even remotely suspicious. Hackers often start small as a test run, so check out those 74-cent transactions.
Kramer adds, “some common sense enables you to focus on what’s most important – your business.”
Kramer’s also suggests having insurance. Such as – general liability; errors and omissions; auto; worker’s compensation; employment practices liability; and commercial excess liability.
However, he points out, none of it typically covers cyber theft.
According to Kramer, specific cyber theft policies generally aren’t expensive and offer a simple path toward peace of mind.
Marc Kramer is the co-founder of Commercial Deposit Insurance Agency, Inc. (www.cdiaus.com) of Radnor, Pa., which provides insurance to business, non-profit and trust bank accounts against cyber theft.