Protecting Your Small Business Against Digital Exposures

Digital exposure is inevitable for any size of business nowadays. If you collect data from employees, clients, vendors, or even have some form of digital presence, you could be exposed to cybercrime and must take every necessary precaution to defend your business against virtual threats. 

One form of small business liability insurance, i.e. cyber liability insurance, is specifically designed to protect businesses against any legal repercussions they could face as a result of being involved in a cybercrime event. Data breaches and ransomware can seriously cost your business’ reputation – and you may even find yourself with a hefty lawsuit at the end of it. That being said, insurance isn’t a catch-all, and you shouldn’t use it as your fallback. You need to take adequate security measures in order to protect your small business and all the information that has been delegated to you. At Bullfrog Insurance, we understand the unique needs of small businesses in Ontario. As a top provider of small business insurance, we go beyond offering excellent coverage tailored to your specific requirements.  

Discover how our comprehensive Bullfrog’s small business liability insurance solutions can benefit your business. 

Here’s how to protect your small business against digital exposures. 

Know how data breaches can occur. 

In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, even small businesses in Ontario need to be vigilant about the risks of data breaches and their potential impact on daily operations. Data breaches, a prevalent form of cybercrime, occur when unauthorized individuals or parties gain access to and steal confidential, personal, or sensitive information. With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to a surge in remote work and the use of insecure networks, the frequency of cybercrime incidents has significantly increased. It is essential to understand that data breaches can transpire in various ways, emphasizing the importance of robust cybersecurity measures and adequate insurance coverage for small businesses in Ontario. Protect your business against the risks of cybercrime by exploring comprehensive small business insurance options tailored to the unique needs of Ontario businesses at Bullfrog Insurance. 

  • They can happen via human error. Human error, or accidental exposure, is when an employee uploads a document containing private information onto a cloud service and doesn’t include a secure password. It happens when a human employee clicks a malicious link. 
  • Malware or ransomware is another means of data breaches. A hacker who enters into an organization’s network (via a phishing email, let’s say) might infect that network with malware, which permits them instant access.  
  • Don’t underestimate the potential of disgruntled employees. A malicious insider could be working with a hacker to provide network information that they can then steal for their own use. With smaller businesses, this is less common but not impossible. 
  • Network or software vulnerabilities are a potential, wherein hackers exploit outdated software and use hidden backdoors in your system to access data. 
  • Finally, data breaches can occur through physical theft. A hacker or cybercriminal can steal a mobile device used for work at a public place, or hack into your work system via a business laptop that was left on your passenger seat overnight. 

How to protect yourself against potential exposures 

While having insurance is crucial for small businesses in Ontario, it should not be seen as a sole solution. Instead, we must proactively implement preventive measures to safeguard our businesses from digital vulnerabilities. By taking strategic steps before any mishaps occur, we can effectively protect our valuable assets. Here are some valuable tips on how to fortify your small business against accidental exposures and ensure its long-term security. 

  • Consider your provincial or even federal regulations when determining your data retention needs. Some vendors and clients might need different schedules for destruction versus employee data. Destroy any data that is no longer needed. Any remaining data is subject to a breach, so long as it’s there and available. 
  • Educate your employees. Human error is the no. 1 cause of data breaches, and they tend to occur because of clicked links on emails or accessing business data through insecure networks. Consider implementing a mandatory cybersecurity training program for all employees to take. 
  • Invest in antivirus and firewall software and commit to keeping these on all devices – updated and patched with the latest security protocol. 
  • Be sure to have backups stored off-site (especially in the event of a fire) that you can regularly verify for accuracy in the event you need to recover following a cyberattack. 
  • Use a password manager for all employees and implement strict rules for two-factor authentication and biometrics. Make sure all employees are using complex passphrases, not easy-to-guess passwords. 
  • Do a forensic security audit. Conduct an inventory of all your existing confidential data and security practices to see where changes may need to be made. Assume a zero-trust policy for all devices that are connected to your business’ network. 

Part of keeping your small business safe is addressing the digital side of things. Be vigilant and proactive; yes, it takes some time, and you may need to invest some money into it, but safety should always come first. It’s your business, and your hard work. Don’t let it go to waste. With Bullfrog Insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that your small business is backed by reliable and comprehensive insurance coverage.