Data breaches are common. 55% percent of small businesses responded to a recent survey saying they experienced one in their business. A July 26, 2017 hearing before the US House of Representatives Small Business Committee stated that cyber threats have become a critical concern for the country’s 28 million small businesses. In fact, the Justice Department recorded nearly 300,000 cybersecurity complaints in 2016 alone.
You may be thinking this couldn’t affect you, but imagine Mandy Hines. She owns a bakery in town called Crossroads that she built from the ground up after working as a barista for many years, and in a few months, she’ll be opening a second location. Mandy has multiple computers and tablet point of sale or POS systems set up in her store, but she’s never thought of Crossroads as being very technical. For her, it’s always been about the coffee and bagels. Even though she had heard of data breaches happening, she never thought something like that would ever happen to her.
But one day, Mandy’s Erie Insurance agent, Leo, asked her, “Hey, if a data breach did happen, say a virus got into your POS system and allowed someone to steal credit card numbers, how would you handle it?”
Data breaches can include anything from lost unsecured laptops, tablets, or smartphones to unsecured stored documents, to employees emailing or posting information in error, to hacked accounts, and many more.
If any of those things happened, what would you do? It got Mandy thinking. Then just 10 short months later, the unthinkable does happen. Alison, Mandy’s new cafe manager responded to a very sophisticated email phishing scam and accidentally sends the W-9 forms and other personal data for all of Mandy’s 19 employees to a third party impersonator. Mandy is devastated and her employees are not happy. The implications of the breach are much more far-reaching than she would have ever thought.
She might have to hire a lawyer, formally notify impacted employees, and help everyone get their info secure. All of this cost time and money. Fortunately, Mandy took Leo’s advice and they worked together to put coverage in place with her business insurance policy to help identify potential risks against the most common incidents. It covered expenses for Mandy to notify all her affected employees, legal costs to determine the extent of the breach and forensic costs if needed and services to impacted individuals like credit monitoring and identity restoration case management if required by law.
Thank goodness Leo was looking out for her. Having the right coverage in place to help in case of a data breach saved Mandy tons of pain and suffering in the long run. She says Leo deserved a latte after that.
Mandy’s Crossroads employees weren’t pleased when they found out about the breach but the response with the insurance company and their partner for a data breach response expenses coverage was swift.
They had experts in a data breach to help mitigate the damage before it became a huge nightmare. Having the right data security procedures in place can help prevent small business data breaches (not using any protection software like Avira, Bitdefender, AVG, Zonealarm and others).
But a data breach can happen even if you’re doing everything right.
That’s why you want to consider talking to your agent to get the coverage that helps you restore your business if a data breach does happen. It can help you overcome an incident in which your customers or employees nonpublic personal information is compromised.