I have heard business owners say, “You keep saying I’m going to get hacked. I can only worry about that so much if it is inevitable.” That hurts, and I have to remind you all—nope, nope, and nope. Yes, the likelihood of your business getting hacked is high. Yes, you should do everything you can to try to prevent that, and your awareness of this possibility should permanently remain high. BUT—maybe this attitude will not be so onerous if I walk you through what has to happen after a hack. It is not just a matter of resetting a password like you do if your Facebook gets hacked. The headaches of a business getting hacked are many.
Ransom Or No Ransome? It Doesn’t Matter. The Bad Guys Still Have Your Data Even If You Pay
If there is a ransom demand, that must be dealt with first. Cybercriminals have hijacked your company data and you can’t have it back unless you pay. The second first thing you do is begin the restoration. Your IT support will focus on getting your company back up and back in business. The good news is that with good IT management, your restoration can be both timeless and seamless. The bad news is that you were hacked, and the bad guys could have your data, ransom demand or no ransom demand. This understanding opens a whole new world of tasks and reparations.
Dealing With The Depth Of Stolen Personal And Confidential Information
My company files contained your name and address, your Social Security number, your children’s names, your phone numbers, possibly some medical information, your employment status, maybe contact links, and passwords. If you think about the personal information we give to companies or put into their websites, I’m sure you are wincing in pain like I am. These cyber thieves have stolen elements of your customers’ lives and livelihoods, and from there will attempt to do the same to their friends, family members, business colleagues, and other businesses. That’s pretty awful, but you must advise them of it. If you have the right cyber risk insurance, they will have a task force, often a third party, who will guide you through the steps of notifying involved parties. Often, part of that notification is the promise to cover the cost of a credit monitoring system to help those who lost data learn how that is impacting them financially. Yes, hacks can be costly. Customers are never happy about that.
Dealing With The Breadth Of The Trust Issue That May Follow
People will change banks after a breach. They will cancel credit cards and open new accounts with other credit card companies. They will find other suppliers if one of theirs is breached. They will dine elsewhere, get gas elsewhere, shop in other stores. Getting hacked can cost you more than just ransom money if your customers leave because they cannot trust your business practices. You will need some public relations efforts after a breach, and if your cyber risk insurance is good, they will supply those services. You will be asking for new business immediately. It will likely take a while to recapture any hack-affected customer, especially if that customer had to spend time and money protecting his money and his credit rating. You will learn the many facets of public trust.
Feel Better About Your Cyber Risk Insurance As A Line Item In Your Annual Budget
You willingly pay for good locks on your doors and windows. You may even employ night security at your place of business. You vet your employees and probably your vendors as well. Business owners already think about and research good physical security and procedural security. Now you can add good cyber risk security to your portfolio of Important Things To Have And Understand Why.
At Aptica, we manage and monitor your company network. We advise dates and costs for upgrades. We alert if there is new software or hardware that will impact your productivity. We arm your business against cyber threats, and that includes training employees on how to recognize them. We also answer all questions and can account for all charges. If you recognize that as major peace of mind—give us a call. We are easy to talk to, and we promise you no geek-speak.
Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium-sized businesses for 19 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.