When you’re running a small business, the last thing you need is to have your computer system hit by malware or ransomware.
To help out small business owners, four major players in the tech and insurance worlds are teaming up to offer a comprehensive new cyber insurance protection suite.
Apple and Cisco lead the charge against cyber criminals
The realization among small businesses that they need cyber breach insurance is growing.
According to the Spring 2017 Cyber Insurance Market Watch, some 32% of companies surveyed said they purchased cyber liability and/or data breach coverage during the last six months.
That’s up from 29% in October 2016, according to The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers.
Now a groundbreaking new offer that integrates technology, services and upgraded cyber insurance is likely to drive up that adoption rate even further.
Effective immediately, Apple and Cisco are teaming up to offer cyber insurance discounts to businesses that use their equipment.
Joining Apple and Cisco in the effort are insurer Allianz and global professional services firm Aon.
Here’s exactly what’s available:
Free cyber resilience evaluation
This offer begins will Aon looking over what you’re doing for cyber security and recommending ways to up your defenses.
Deductibles so low you may even pay $0!
On cyber insurance policies underwritten by Allianz, this reduced deductible offer is available to businesses who use Cisco Ransomware Defense and/or qualified Apple products like the iPhone, iPad and Mac.
If that describes you, Allianz says you could even wind up paying no deductible at all in some instances!
Free incident response services
Should you get hit by hackers, Cisco and Aon’s incident response teams will be available to help walk you through the resolution of a malware attack.
Don’t overlook the basics of small business cyber security
We live in a world that has seen malicious hackers target everyone from Equifax to Target over the last several years, affecting millions of unsuspecting U.S. consumers in the process with the threat of identity theft and other financial harm.
While that’s on the macro scale, hackers also love to target small businesses because they don’t have huge IT budgets to keep up with the latest security threats.
That’s why money expert Clark Howard has long talked about a simple two-step procedure to safeguard businesses with 25 or fewer employees:
Get a written policy in place
Whatever you’re doing to safeguard your funds both online and physically, be sure you write it down.
For example, if you keep your checks locked in a file cabinet or safe, put that down in writing. What you’re trying to do is build a paper trail to show “due diligence.”
Establishing due diligence on your part under the Uniform Commercial Code would help bolster your legal defense in the event of a data breach.
If you can prove that you took steps to safeguard your funds — but your bank’s negligence put you at risk — then much of the legal responsibility for the breach would fall on your financial institution.
Buy a dedicated computer strictly for online banking
By having a dedicated computer, you lessen the likelihood that you’ll pick up dangerous malware in the first place.
Once you take this step, you should update your written policy discussed above to include this measure as you build your case for due diligence on your part.
But note this well: The key here is never to use this computer for any purpose other than banking and finances related to your business.
Don’t check your email on it. Don’t surf the web on it. And whatever you do, don’t visit Facebook or other social media sites using this computer!
“With laptops routinely available for between $100 and $200, this is the cheapest insurance policy I can recommend,” Clark says.