3 minute read

The Winter Olympics are winding down this week. Over the past 2 weeks, you’ve witnessed many awesome events taking place at this year’s Olympic Games. Elegant figure skating. High-speed bobsled races. Intense ice hockey. Suspicious cyber breaches? Clearly, one of these things is not like the others. But it’s entirely true!

According to Wired, various Olympic-related organizations have been targeted by hackers. One cyber breach led to private health and drug test information of certain athletes being stolen and leaked. Other ongoing cyber breach attempts have been targeting South Korean organizations, including local tourism companies, ski resorts, and transportation companies.

As a small business owner, you might not relate to these high-profile breaches. However, they’re more relatable than you think. In fact, cyberattacks on small businesses are continuously rising. According to Symantec, 54% of cyberattacks targeted small businesses in 2016, compared to 18% of attacks in 2011.

Not all cyberattacks are incredibly sophisticated either. The cyber breaches in South Korea, for example, involved a standard email and a Word Document. What ever happened to the good ol’ days of “You’ve Got Mail” and Clippy, the Office Assistant?

The hackers attached a Word document to an email, crafted to run a malicious script on the target machine. If the victim clicked “enable content” after opening that tainted attachment, the attacker would gain remote access to the computer.

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Given that small businesses are top targets for cyber criminals, and given how simple some cyberattacks appear to be, how do small business owners feel about cyberattacks heading their way? According to a recent TruShield Insurance poll, not great. We polled hundreds of Canadian small business owners, and 65% of them said they aren’t very confident their business could survive a cyberattack.

In the unfortunate scenario that your small business falls victim to a hack, there are specific steps that you can take to recover from the breach and minimize your losses. Here are five tips on how to recover from a cyber breach; check out the video above, or take a look below!

  1. Do not unplug: We know that your gut instinct after experiencing a cyber breach may be to unplug and turn everything off right away. But shutting down a machine can delete valuable information on how the hack originated and the extent of the damage.
  2. Call in a pro: Unless you’ve got a degree in post-breach forensic investigating, you’re likely in over your head at this point. Bringing in someone who specializes in cyberattacks is a good next step after identifying a hack. They’ll be able to determine important details including the scope of the damage that’s been done. Once all the important information has been pulled by a specialist, they can help contain the situation.
  3. Communicate quickly: Delivering bad news to your customers, employees, and partners is never fun, but it’s often best to take care of this quickly. Consider communicating promptly, and be as honest as possible. Forbes found that customers are actually more interested in how a company handles a breach than the fact that one occurred in the first place. Be sure to provide consistent updates as they come in, too!
  4. Fix the gaps in your security: The investigation you do following a breach will shine light on any vulnerabilities in your security system, and will allow you to fix any holes to help avoid any future hacks. Investing in firewall and intrusion prevention systems can give you another layer of security against the threat of cyberattacks.
  5. Revisit your coverage: There are a number of myths associated with cyber risks for small business that can cloud your judgement and leave you vulnerable. Speak to your insurance provider about revisiting your policy to ensure you’re covered for the damages that a cyber breach can cause.

65 percent of small businesses aren’t very confident they could survive a cyberattack.

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Stay in the game

With cyberattacks on small businesses on the rise, it’s important to know exactly what you need to do to get your business back up and running if you get hit by a cyber breach. The best athletes know how to pick themselves up after a hard hit or a tough tumble; the tips above can help you and your business do the same. Don’t let cyberattacks stall your business’ journey towards success!

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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. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply to coverage. See policy for details.