You don’t have to have a business in the tech industry in order to need tech insurance. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a business in any industry today that doesn’t need some form of technology insurance.
From the need to protect trade secrets to the ability to accept payments online, most businesses today have very real vulnerabilities related to the reliance upon technology to get the job done.
If you’re on the fence about tech insurance or just want to learn a bit more about your risks and what you can get coverage for, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about cyber or tech insurance.
Technology Threats You Need To Know About
61% of small businesses experienced a cyber attack in 2017. Technology threats lurk behind every corner in the business world today. If your business uses computers, tablets or other mobile devices and the Internet, your business is at risk for technology-related problems, including any or all of the following:
- Password theft
- Theft of trade secrets
- Staff dishonesty
- Security breaches
- Denial of service attacks
- Malware, viruses and spyware
- Email scams
The list is hardly inclusive of the risks businesses face by taking advantage of the conveniences technology offers. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to remain competitive in the business world without embracing what technology has to offer. This means that you must adopt technology and all the risks involved in order to maintain a real presence in today’s rapidly evolving business climate.
This means that you must find ways to protect your business from the threats technology represents in order to take advantage of its many benefits. While there are many things you can and should do to make your business or startup less attractive to hackers, there is one thing you absolutely must do to protect yourself in the event that tech-related disasters do occur. You must have the right kinds of insurance protection.
Why Is Tech Insurance So Critical?
For most businesses today, it’s not a matter of if you’ll be breached – it’s only a matter of when. It’s estimated there’s a hacker attack every 39 seconds. The technology on the dark side of the Internet seems to be evolving much faster than the light side can keep up with.
Antivirus programs and patches are often reactionary rather than preventive. Someone has to create the virus before the software can be patched to prevent against it. That means that someone – often multiple businesses – will be hacked first. These initial attacks allow programmers for the antivirus platforms to create and distribute patches that prevent these newer viruses.
The problem is that you are legally responsible for the data you possess on your employees and your clients. There are also trade secret implications to consider, too. All of these can cost your business a massive amount of money without proper insurance protection.
What Kinds Of Businesses Need Tech Insurance?
The sad truth is that all businesses today that accept credit cards, take payments online, use computers, store customer information on computers, or use mobile devices in the course of business are vulnerable to breaches and liability claims resulting from them.
Essentially, all businesses need cyber liability insurance, data breach coverage, and other coverage to protect themselves in the event of cyber attacks. What was once limited to a select few businesses in the technology industry has now become a widespread risk that almost every business must handle.
Even big names such as Target, Chase and Sony have been targeted for attacks – successful ones, at that – despite the many safeguards and security measures they have available to them. Smaller businesses will have even more difficulty keeping out dedicated intruders.
What Types of Tech Insurance Do Businesses Need?
While all businesses need standard insurance coverage, businesses today need specific insurance coverage related to technology, including:
- Data breach coverage – This covers legal expenses, settlements and judgments awarded when customer data is stolen or lost. Additionally, this type of coverage helps you to comply with regulatory requirements for responding to data breaches.
- Computer-based crimes or cyber extortion insurance – When computer based extortion occurs, this insurance coverage helps your business deal with the expenses of said extortion.
- Electronics data liability insurance – This provides for liability needs related to the loss of electronic information resulting from physical damage to tangible property, such as servers, computers, flash drives and portable hard drives.
How Can I Protect My Business?
Unfortunately, no business is ever fully protected from cyber attacks and tech issues. The criminals behind these attacks are constantly evolving their techniques. Inside attacks are also on the rise so you may have invited your attacker to learn your company’s secrets already.
But there are several actions you can take to lessen the chance you’ll find yourself having to make a technology insurance claim. You also don’t have to be a computer whiz to utilize most of these.
Use strong passwords
This includes your own password as well as those of employees. A hacker only needs access to one email address or profile to work their way through your entire system. Passwords should be a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. They should never include someone’s name, birthdate, or other obvious information.
Invest in your security
Whether you hire outside help or appoint someone within, having someone in charge of your security measures will keep tasks from getting placed on the backburner. Unless you’re a cyber security expert, never take on the task yourself.
Backup your data
Just in case you’re unable to prevent a cyber disaster, backing up all of your data is the safest and fastest way to get it all back. Back-ups should become part of your regular routine.
Encrypt your data
This is never an option. Encryption is essential with today’s high risks of cyber attacks. The only way this data can be read is with a secret key or password. Unless an attacker has this, attempting to steal data will be fruitless.
You should install a variety of software designed to protect your data and business. Between antivirus software, operating system updates, and intrusion detection software, there are multiple avenues to take to stronger tech security.
How to Choose A Tech Insurance Provider
There are plenty of options out there for a tech insurance provider. But that doesn’t mean every company is right for you. Here’s what to look for in a tech insurance provider.
- Only work with a company who is reputable and experienced in the tech insurance industry. This type of coverage hasn’t been around for long, but you don’t want to work with a company who just decided to offer policies.
- Work with a company who is transparent and willing to answer any and all questions regarding your policy and coverage. There are a lot of exclusions with tech insurance and not understanding the fine print of your coverage could leave you paying out of pocket and dealing with the aftermath of the attack on your own.
- Take the time to understand what’s required of you for your insurer to process a claim, should the day come. Many policies require you to implement procedures and policies to lessen the chance of an attack.
Understanding the types of coverage your business needs is only part of the process of getting adequate protection. You must also consider getting the right amount of coverage, too. That’s why it’s so important to work with an independent insurance agent. If you have questions about your tech insurance coverage, get answers today by calling your agent.