Over the last few years, small businesses have become a favorite target of cyber criminals. Hackers have stolen password credentials, business records and customer credit card data from some of the most unlikely targets.

The consequences of a hack are serious. Claims and legal fees routinely cost businesses more than $1 million and the damage to brand reputation can linger for years.

The risks of a hack are something you can’t afford to ignore. Luckily, managing cyber security for small businesses is not only possible, it’s easy to do. Most attacks are the result of a business being unprepared or underprepared to handle common threats. By taking proper action and implementing these cyber security tips, you will significantly minimize your risk.

5 Cyber Security Tips for Your Small Business

1. Protect Your Computer Systems

A small business offers several targets for hackers. They could target the computer terminal with all your business records or harvest valuable personal info from loyalty programs and online order systems. But the main risk is point-of-sale systems where hackers can steal your customers’ credit card information.

Protecting your computer systems from these threats requires the right combination of tools. A firewall is essential to keep cyber criminals from accessing multiple systems through a single vulnerability. Antivirus software is needed to stop intrusions and sound the alarm if an attack is successful.

2. Practice Good Password Security

Password security is another easy fix with big ROI. As many as four out of five business data breaches are due to weak password security. When hackers can guess your password, use a compromised login or use the same password to access multiple systems, they can do a lot of damage.

Always choose strong passwords, use different passwords for each system and update passwords that are old or compromised.

3. Hold Cyber Risk Awareness Training

Employees know they should avoid a suspicious email, but spotting today’s most common phishing tactics is getting more difficult. Cyber scams cost businesses $4.2 billion in 2020 according to the FBI, often with fraudulent email communications that looked authentic, such as vendor invoices, password resets, messages impersonating a boss or VIP, links to compromised sites and links hidden in document attachments.

Train employees on what to look out for and how to stay safe.

4. Create a Cyber Response Plan

Like a general risk management plan, a formal cyber response plan can greatly impact how much damage a cyber event does to your studio.

Having a plan makes it easier to identify when there’s been a breach and gives you the tools to act quickly to minimize the damage.

5. Add Cyber Liability Insurance Coverage

A cyber security incident can have a far-reaching impact on your small business, and the risk is always there, even with all the right protections in place. It’s important to make sure you’re prepared to handle a hack and all its related costs, such as loss of income, legal defense costs, privacy breach notifications, regulatory fines and penalties and other related expenses.

Cyber liability insurance coverage can help minimize your exposure, cover costs, and recover more quickly.

Cyber Protection for Small Businesses Like Yours

Because of their unique vulnerabilities, small businesses will likely continue to be a favorite target of cyber criminals. But it’s within your control to make your business’s systems more secure and minimize your own risk. Contact your insurance representative to learn more about cyber liability insurance and cyber security tips and resources that can help protect your business.