Does My Business Need Cyber Insurance?

As we’ve discussed in previous blog articles this month, it’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month, courtesy of the CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency). During this month, we’ve talked about the importance of cyber security, statistics on cyberattacks, and the interplay between two vital insurance policies: cyber insurance and business interruption. 

Here at AHI Group, your business’s security is our business. We aim to help inform business owners by equipping them with the best practices to protect their businesses against digital threats. Although cyber insurance is just one piece of a much larger puzzle, today we’re focusing on the topic of why your business needs cyber insurance, how cyber insurance can help, and what to look for in a policy.

What Businesses Need Cyber Insurance?

If your business stores or processes any information vital to its operations or that are considered private information (especially data containing information about clients) then you should heavily consider cybersecurity insurance. Consider the implementation of a cyber insurance policy, especially if you keep any cyber data that includes customer names, addresses, medical records, financial information (like credit card numbers) and even Social Security numbers. 

Few industries, if any, are required to have cyber insurance. In some instances and with certain partnerships, it may be requested of you to obtain cyber insurance to protect another party and any of their data you’re handling. IT companies, for example, might be contractually obligated to have some form of cyber insurance. Otherwise, this new product is a relatively new offering and may not be required depending on your industry.

How Cyber Insurance Can Help Your Business

Cyber insurance is a type of business insurance product that is curated toward helping businesses, small and large, recover from cyber attacks as a result of phishing scams, networking threats, ransomware, and more. Cyber insurance can help protect your business against a huge range of threats, such as:

  • Cyber extortion, or ransomware (which we’ve covered in a previous post!), which is an event that occurs where a cyber thief makes a demand for payment upon compromising your data or restricting your access to your networks.
  • Breaches of data, such as when you lose confidential or personal information, or a cyber criminal has had unauthorized access to your personal information.
  • A denial-of-service attack or technological failure, where a cyberattack results in the inability to access your online services.

Attacks vary in scale and cost, but they’re all disruptive. Cyber insurance helps to cover the costs that could come out of a successful cyber attack, including costs to notify affected parties, legal representation, the costs to restore damaged, lost, or corrupted data, and the outsourcing of a firm to investigate the breach’s source.

Most businesses purchase stand-alone policies with coverage specifically curated to cyber risks. Other businesses will opt for a business insurance endorsement that may supplement, modify, or increase existing cyber insurance coverage. Ask an AHI representative about which option is best for you.

What to Look For in a Cybersecurity Insurance Policy

In an age where digital threats loom large and cyberattacks have become an unfortunate reality, protecting your business from the potentially devastating consequences of a breach has never been more critical. Cyber insurance is the armor that can safeguard your business from financial ruin and reputational damage in the event of a cyber incident.

Financial Protection

Cyber insurance is designed to provide financial coverage in the wake of a cyberattack or data breach. These incidents can lead to substantial financial losses, ranging from the cost of investigating the breach, restoring compromised systems, notifying affected parties, and even potential legal actions. Without cyber insurance, these expenses can overwhelm a business. With the right policy in place, you can mitigate these financial burdens and ensure that your business can weather the financial storm.

Business Continuity

One of the most significant benefits of cyber insurance is its ability to support business continuity. When a cyber incident disrupts your operations, business interruption coverage within your cyber insurance policy comes to the rescue. It helps cover lost income and ongoing expenses like salaries and rent, ensuring that your business remains financially stable during the recovery process. This can be the difference between a business that thrives despite the interruption and one that struggles to recover.

Data Breach Response

A critical component of cyber insurance is the support it offers during a data breach. This includes access to a network of experts who can help your business navigate the breach, manage the response, and meet legal and regulatory obligations. Having this expertise at your disposal can make the process significantly smoother and more efficient, minimizing the damage to your business’s reputation.

Reputation Management

The fallout from a cyber incident can extend to your business’s reputation. Customers and partners may lose trust in your ability to protect their data, leading to long-term damage. Many cyber insurance policies offer reputation management services to help mitigate the impact of a breach on your brand and rebuild trust.

Customized Coverage

Cyber insurance is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Policies can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your business. Whether you’re a small startup or a large corporation, there is a cyber insurance policy that can be crafted to address your unique risks and circumstances.

This Cyber Month, AHI has aimed to educate, inform, and raise awareness about the growing and ever-evolving threat of cyber risks. We hope that we’ve done our part in showing you just how costly cyber attacks can be, as well as providing you with the tools you need to keep your business safe. And, as always, we’re happy to chat about the best ways to manage your business’s risk. Give us a call today.

Business Interruption and Cyber Insurance: How They Interact

In the fast-paced world of business, where every moment counts and every decision matters, the last thing any commercial client wants to deal with is an unexpected interruption. Business interruptions can arise from a variety of sources, whether it’s a natural disaster, supply chain disruption, or in our focus today, the ever-looming spectre of cyber threats.

The reality is that cyber risks are on the rise, and they have the potential to halt your business operations in their tracks. We get it, and we’re here for you. Our mission isn’t just about providing insurance; it’s about empowering you, our valued commercial clients, with the knowledge and tools you need to safeguard your business in this digital age.

At AHI Group, we believe that understanding the connection between business interruption and cyber insurance is not just a business necessity; it’s a promise we make to you, our clients, to care for your interests and provide the support you need to weather the storms that the digital world can bring.

Understanding Business Interruption Insurance

In the realm of business, every moment invested in realizing your vision can be a stepping stone toward success. Business interruption, a sudden and unforeseen disruption to your daily operations can deliver a gut-wrenching blow. Imagine managing a thriving business, steering your team toward your objectives, when suddenly, without warning, disaster strikes. It could be a natural calamity, a critical supplier’s unforeseen hiccup, or, as we delve into today, a cyber incident. The outcome remains consistent – your operations grind to a halt, revenues plummet, and the realization of your dreams feels more distant than ever. Business interruption can be an invaluable inclusion in your overall insurance plan.

The Role of Cyber Insurance

Cyber insurance and business interruption insurance work hand in hand. When a cyber-attack happens that causes your business’s operations to stall, business interruption insurance can be activated to help cover the lost costs during a period of forced closure. 

Business interruption coverage in your cyber insurance policy acts as a financial safety net during these turbulent times. It helps cover the income you would have earned had the cyber incident not occurred. It also assists in paying for ongoing expenses like rent, salaries, and utilities. This crucial component can make the difference between a business that manages to weather the storm and one that faces severe financial distress.

The Growing Threat of Cyber Risks

In today’s interconnected world, cyber risks have evolved into a formidable adversary for businesses of all sizes. The digital landscape is bustling with innovation, convenience, and efficiency, but it’s also teeming with lurking cyber threats that have the potential to disrupt, damage, and even dismantle companies. This growing threat is not one that business owners can afford to overlook.

Cyberattacks, including data breaches and ransomware incidents, have become increasingly sophisticated, with cybercriminals constantly refining their tactics. The consequences of a successful cyberattack can be far-reaching, extending beyond financial losses to encompass reputational damage and loss of customer trust. In an era where information is not just an asset but the lifeblood of many businesses, the stakes are incredibly high. Every day, companies are targeted, and while some may have the resources to weather the storm, many others find themselves vulnerable to the devastating consequences of a cyber incident.

Empowering Clients to Take Action

Now that we’ve explored the vital connection between business interruption and cyber insurance, it’s time to shift our focus to empowerment. At AHI Group, we understand that knowledge alone is not enough; it’s the proactive steps you take that truly make the difference in safeguarding your business.

Empowering our commercial clients to fortify their businesses against cyber threats is not just our commitment; it’s our passion. We’re dedicated to providing you with the tools, guidance, and strategies you need to bolster your cybersecurity measures. The journey begins with self-assessment. Take a close look at your current cybersecurity practices and identify areas that may be vulnerable. It might involve evaluating your data security, access controls, employee training, and incident response plans.

That’s where AHI Group’s expertise and guidance come into play. We’re here to assist you in understanding your unique cyber insurance policy, ensuring you know how to navigate the claims process and receive the support you need when the unexpected occurs. We stand by your side during every step of your journey toward resilience and security, because at AHI Group, we’re not just an insurance provider; we’re your partners in success, ready to empower you to face the digital age with confidence and strength. Call us to discuss your cyber insurance strategy today.

What is a Loss of Use Policy in Home Insurance?

When purchasing home insurance, it’s important to look at the various policies that are available to you. At AHI Group, our team likes to design specific policies that will fully insure the people of Olathe, KS. One type of coverage to consider is loss of use, an insurance policy that pays for additional living expenses. 

What Situations Require Loss of Use Insurance?

Additional living expenses, also known as ALE, are usually incurred from unexpected life events. If a fire or a storm damages your home, then you might have to move into a temporary residence as your home gets rebuilt. Whether it’s a hotel room or a rented RV, temporary living can be surprisingly expensive – potentially creating new costs for your living situation. For example, if you don’t have a fridge in your temporary home, you might resort to buying restaurant food or quick meals from a convenience store. There could be additional costs from new clothing, health supplies, and beauty products – items that are sometimes lost from property damage.

What Does Loss of Use Cover?

In a home insurance policy, a loss of use policy will cover hotel stays, vehicle fuel, and other necessary expenses while you’re living outside your home. This policy is especially useful if you’re living in a hotel room that is more expensive per month than your actual residence. 

Getting Loss of Use in Olathe, KS

If you’re interested in including loss of use in your home insurance plan, then please contact one of our agents in Kansas. You can call the AHI Group to learn more. We offer other types of coverage, so feel free to ask about those policies as well. 

The Big Halloween Scare: Ransomware and Your Business

Ghosts, zombies, ghouls, and ransomware – one of these things is not like the other. While it’s true that monsters and Jack o’ Lanterns have been the featurette of Halloween, business owners have something even bigger to be afraid of: cybercrime. Cybercrime comes in many, many forms, but one of its most popular (and perhaps most harmful) forms of cybercrime is ransomware, a malicious digital attack on your business’s valued technological assets.

This article isn’t to necessarily frighten you so much as it is to inform you, but we couldn’t ignore the irony of this year’s Cyber Month including a Friday the 13th. So, to stick with the theme, let’s talk about the big Halloween scare: ransomware and how it can affect your business!

What is Ransomware & Why Should I Be Scared?

Ransomware, by definition, is a criminal act by which a cybercriminal – an individual or entity – breaches a company or organization’s network and steals their digital assets, usually financial information or private client data. That data is then held for ransom and may be “frozen,” and therefore unable to be accessed by the company or organization.

Ransomware can be devastating. For one, it can be seriously impactful to a business’s operations to be unable to access critical data and information. Two, it can be a breach of privacy for the clients’ whose data may have been stolen. Later down the line, that can lead to costly lawsuits. That’s not even to mention the potential amount of money the data could be held ransom for, which for smaller businesses may seriously harm their finances.

Any business that uses data may be at risk of ransomware. It happens more often than you might think, and increasingly so as more and more organizations utilize data and technology in their everyday operations. Even your casual Mom and Pop shop working off the Corner of X Street could be exposed if they store any financial data on their computers.

Ransomware and Businesses: 2023 Statistics

To put into perspective just how catastrophic a ransomware attack (or any sort of cyber attack, for that matter) can be on your business, we’ve compiled a list of up-to-date commercial ransomware statistics. Keep in mind that large and small businesses alike are impacted by ransomware. These stats don’t exclude businesses with fewer than five employees, and in fact those businesses may make up a larger proportion of the businesses that are affected. Smaller businesses may be less “appealing” to cybercriminals, but their fortifications are often less than that of larger companies and therefore are easier to breach.

  • Healthcare ranks as the costliest industry for a breach, with breaches costing $10.1 million on average.
  • Phishing (sending malicious emails or attachments through email, posing as either a reputable individual or entity) continues to be the most popular scam in 2023.
  • In 2023, ransomware makes up about 24% of all cyber attacks.
  • According to a report from IBM, it can take a year (on average) to identify and contain ransomware. Paying for the ransomware has been proven to not result in any cost savings.
  • As cloud technology is adapted more and more, it too becomes a target for ransomware and is becoming increasingly exploited.

Many of the “big breaches” we often here about are involving those large companies, like Microsoft or Facebook, but that doesn’t mean that breaches aren’t happening regularly to the smaller guys, either. They just don’t make headlines like the big businesses do. It’s serious business, cybercrime! Here’s how you can keep your business safer:

Creating a Business Cyber Toolkit to Stay Safe

Just because it only might happen doesn’t mean your business shouldn’t take its cyber safety seriously. Even if you think you don’t have much to lose, taking action to protect your business’s digital assets can go a very long way – and can save you a serious headache later down the line.

Cyber insurance is just one aspect of cyber safety. To be transparent, you won’t have much luck finding a policy if you aren’t already taking measures to keep your organization safe.

Those measures, which we’ve talked about in previous blogs this Cyber Month, are doing such things as training employees on the latest up-to-date cybersecurity tips, implementing multi-factor authentication, installing (and regularly updating) your system’s firewall, having remote employees use a VPN, and more.

Small steps like these should be regularly incorporated into your business’s everyday operations. Doing so can greatly mitigate your odds of being involved in a data breach, ransomware event, or cyber attack, or at least help your organization to identify if you’ve been targeted by a scheme.

And finally, get cyber insurance. If all else fails, it’s valuable to know you have the backing of a comprehensive insurance policy to safeguard your assets – digital or otherwise.

Certain cyber insurance packages will also come with access to cybersecurity experts, who can help your business not only bolster its existing cybersecurity protocol but provide a step-by-step path to recovery if you’re ever finding yourself needing to recoup following a cyber attack. Ask an AHI representative for more information about this option.

Get Insured this Halloween with AHI Group

Before you start to decorate the office and prepare for your “spooky staff party,” it’s time to get your business adequately protected with the right cyber insurance. AHI helps its commercial partners get the cyber insurance they need.

Give us a call to discuss your business’ technological needs today and we’ll happily start the process of finding you comprehensive cyber insurance. Happy Friday the 13th!

Let’s Talk Cyber Security: Cyber Tips for All Size of Businesses

This misconception that only large businesses are at risk of cybercrime is not only incredibly untrue, but it can also be devastatingly harmful. Big businesses have far more financial muscle to protect themselves from cyber risks, and can invest more into cyber security measures, which overall can act as a deterrent to potential criminals. Small businesses? Small businesses may not seem like appealing targets from the outskirts, but the truth is that they’re perhaps more at risk because they may be less protected and less informed in how to defend themselves against cyberattacks.

All this is to say that small businesses and big businesses need to understand the importance of cyber security, which ranges from information back-ups and password management to proper employee training. Your business’s cyber security is only as strong as its weakest link! Let’s take a deep dive into some critical cyber tips for all size of businesses. 

Tailoring a Cybersecurity Strategy for Your Small Business

Cybersecurity doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can take some effort on your part as a business owner. A good plan should incorporate the maintenance of cyber insurance policies, response protocols, the installation of adequate firewalls and software, and educational materials to be laid out in advance. The prevention of an attack should always be a top priority, as it’s better to avoid an incident altogether than have to pick up the pieces after one has occurred. 

For having a consistently up-to-date strategy, you may consider hiring a cybersecurity point person. If this isn’t in the budget, that’s OK! Instead, look internally and consider adding that responsibility (for a pay raise) to an existing employee who can manage news on up-to-date tactics, the latest virus prevention software, and more. Now, let’s get into some cyber tips:

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, requires users to perform multiple actions in order to gain security access to accounts, networks, or databases. It acts as a deterrent to potential hackers and bolsters your security, plus it helps employees get into the practice of ensuring accounts are safeguarded, even if a password is compromised. MFA can include passwords, biometrics, email validation, cell security codes, and more.

Utilize Information Backups

As we have earlier addressed in our previous blog on Cyber Awareness Month, a lot of data attacks happen as a result of cloud-based software. Having information backups and storing them on separate mediums, like USB sticks, external drives, or even disk storage system can go a long way. This ensures that in case of a cyberattack or data loss, you can quickly recover without significant disruptions.

Network Security

Invest in a firewall, intrusion detection system, and antivirus software to protect your small business’s network. Segment your network to isolate sensitive data and limit access only to those who need it. Make sure to regularly monitor network traffic for anomalies that might indicate a breach, or outsource a team of professional information technology experts who can do so on your company’s behalf.

Start by Training Your Employees

The biggest risk to your company’s security? Your employees. Human error is the number one largest cause of data breaches. Start by educating your employees about cybersecurity best practices. Ensure they understand the importance of strong passwords, recognize phishing attempts, and know how to securely handle sensitive data. Regular training sessions can help keep your team vigilant, whether those are once per year, once per every six months, or even more frequently (depending on your industry.)

Cover topics that are relevant to your business, like the utilization of strong passwords and the implementation of MFA. Work remotely? Use virtual training workshops to train remote employees how to utilize their company’s network from a remote setting safely. Talk about phishing safety, safe Internet browsing, and secure communication practices.

Get Cyber Insurance

First – cyber insurance is not a replacement for cyber security. It’s a supplement. Most cyber insurers will not insure a business without pre-existing cyber security measures, including firewall, MFA, and certain cybersecurity measures. Cyber insurance can act as a fallback plan for any business that may be at risk of a cyber breach, and can help if all else fails.

Cyber insurance and sufficient cyber security are both critical tools in the digital age. Cyber insurance provides financial protection against the potentially devastating costs associated with a cyberattack or data breach. In an era where cyber threats are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated, having cyber insurance can help mitigate the financial and reputational fallout of such incidents.

Cyber insurance typically covers expenses like legal fees, notification costs, forensic investigations, and customer credit monitoring, among others. It can also help cover the costs of restoring compromised systems and data. Moreover, cyber insurance can provide invaluable support in the form of incident response teams and experts who can guide a company through the crisis, ultimately minimizing the long-term damage to its operations and reputation. Given the prevalence of cyber threats today, having cyber insurance is a wise investment to safeguard your business’s financial stability and resilience in the face of digital risks.

Get Insured with AHI Group and Protect Your Digital Assets

AHI Group is an agency based in Olathe, Kansas that helps small and large businesses alike find the comprehensive insurance coverage they need. As the world of technology evolves at our fingertips, so does the sophistication of cybercriminals, making it all the more important for us to stay on our toes. Give us a call to discuss getting your business the cyber insurance it needs to stay vigilant against potential digital threats.