Cyber risks, data breaches, and cybercrime are getting more sophisticated each and every year. In 2021 alone, 104,295 Canadians were reported to be victims of cyber fraud. This resulted in a loss of more than $370 million.

Whether you’re a consumer or a business owner, you need to plan ahead and assume that your private information will always be exposed to risks. In addition to taking preventative measures that can help you avoid becoming a target, you also need to ask yourself “how can I recover from a hack or data breach when I’m targeted?”. To protect yourself and your business, it is extremely important to practice cyber safety.

How to plan for cyber risks

Always keep in mind that you could be an easy target.

When a big corporation or government experiences a data breach, it makes headlines. But increasingly, small and medium-sized businesses are the silent victims of cybercrime that you don’t hear about. Every day, Canadian small businesses suffer smaller-scale cyber attacks that may go unreported. Depending on the size and state of your business, the cost of an attack can be more than an inconvenience.

Educate and train your employees

While most people understand that cybercrime is a real threat, they might not understand specifically how they are targeted and what precautions they need to take. Understanding what risks you and your employees are exposed to and making sure that they follow company policy to ensure their safety is an important first step. Cyber security and risk management aren’t just for the IT department to worry about – they should be central to your employee education, policies, and procedures.

It’s especially important for employees to understand that they may be specific targets of highly sophisticated phishing attacks. These e-mails are designed to appear as if they’re coming from other employees, executives, or even suppliers. Many breaches occur due to human error or social engineering. If an employee isn’t trained to look for the right clues or doesn’t speak with someone from IT before opening a malicious e-mail or clicking on a harmful link, your data could be stolen or held hostage by ransomware.

A cyber risk management plan

Many small businesses might have firewalls, data backup, virus scanners, and the like, but those are only specifics tools that play a role in a larger plan. Managing cyber risk is just like managing any other types of risks. You need to have a formal plan in place to ensure you know what cyber risks your business is facing, how to identify those risks, and how to prevent them.

Mitigating cyber risk isn’t just about playing defence; it’s also about having a plan of action for when a data breach happens. With the proper plan in place, your business will be aware of cyber risks and your employees will know how to identify a potential incident when it occurs. Reacting quickly may also help your business contain the damage so that it’s minimized. Finally, having adequate insurance that includes cyber coverage is an essential part of a cyber risk management plan.

Ensure that you’re protected

Despite your best efforts, sometimes things can still go wrong. That’s when insurance can be helpful. To learn more about how a tailored policy can help protect you, your employees, and your bottom line, visit our Cyber Risk insurance page.

This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information.