Heritage Insurance

Greg discusses how small businesses can ward off cyberattacks in this episode of Ask The Expert. 800 CHAB radio presents Ask the Expert with Greg Marcyniuk of Heritage Insurance located in Moose Jaw.

Here's a full transcript of the episode.

Rob Carnie: Cyber attacks. They're real, and they can hurt really, really bad — especially if you're a small business owner.

We're here to talk about cyber attacks on 800 CHAB's Ask The Expert with Greg Marcyniuk from Heritage Insurance. First of all, let's get this straight. We can protect ourselves with cyber attack insurance, Greg.

Greg Marcyniuk: That's right. It's called cybersecurity insurance, and you know, it's amazing right now.

As businesses evolve, a lot of your bigger companies that you've seen these cyber attacks, those companies are very aware of it so they're putting in millions of dollars. And these hackers are having a harder time getting into these big, tight businesses.

So, where are they turning to, Rob? They're turning to small business owners, and we're seeing a really large array of smaller businesses getting attacked — like a bookstore, bakery, florists, whatever. And these cybercriminals, they are funded by criminal organized crime, and they are the ones that are going after it. So, we're finding more and more attacks happening with these smaller businesses.

And I just want to talk about what people can do to prevent cyber attacks. The biggest thing is training your employers — employees, I should say — in cybersecurity principles and what to open, what not to open. Install and regularly update your antivirus, antispyware software on every computer, not just the main computer, your mainframe, but on every computer.

Use a firewall for your internet connection. Download and install software for your operating systems and applications as they become available. Make backup copies of important business data and information on the cloud, and make sure that if you are on the cloud, that it's a very reputable cloud-based system. Control physical access to your computers and network components.

If you have secure WiFi networks, make sure that it is secure and it's hidden. Require individual user accounts for each employee, that's very important. And another thing is limit employee access to your data information and limit authority to install software.

Like, I'm the only one that can authorize that or do that. And the other thing I can't believe is regularly change your passwords and have multiple passwords. I know it's a pain in the butt, but you have to have multiple passwords for your different sites, because can't remember what the statistic, but it's very high that people use the same password for everything. And you're just asking for trouble on that.

And just to give you an idea how bad it is when a cyber attack is actually taken on on a small or medium sized business, the average cost is almost $200,000 to recover it. In fact, nearly 60% of the small businesses victimized by a cyber attack permanently close their doors within 6 months.

So, again, really important, and I can't emphasize enough, that you go through, take a look at these tips, talk to your employees about this, and the second thing is to have coverage in place, because when a breach happens, when you have the right policy there, they actually send in forensic auditors to find out, number one, where the problem is, if it's a ransomware, they have trained individuals that will negotiate with these people and they can know whether or not they're for real.

So, again, I can't emphasize enough the importance of this, because I myself have seen other businesses that are clients that have been hit and it's scary. So, again, you know, we're in a false sense of security there, and it's not a good thing.

Rob: We can see you to see what the coverages are.

Greg: That's correct. Just come on down to the corner of Fairford and First Northwest, more than happy to help you out.

(Video transcription by Speechpad)

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