Small businesses are flourishing in Canada. Out of 1,107,540 employer businesses in Canada, small businesses make up 1,087,803 of employers — roughly 98.2%. As society progresses, small businesses have a heavier reliance on technology with many business operations relying heavily on custom software. With a lot of confidential and private information and data stored electronically, protect your business' reputation and reduce liabilities by investing in a data breach insurance policy.
A Look at Data Breach Insurance Policies
Data breach insurance policies are typically an optional, extended coverage of your business insurance policy. The data breach insurance coverage will typically cover expenses like:
- access to professionals who can help make sure that you comply with all electronic regulatory requirements imposed by the provincial and federal government.
- response expenses involved in hiring professionals to assist you in handling data breach crisis and restore the public's confidence in your business.
- expenses related to good faith advertising. Depending on the extent and severity of the data breach, along with the amount of clientele that your business caters to, advertising expenses needed to respond to the public can quickly increase exponentially.
- defence and liability expenses in the event that you are sued by your clients as a result of the data breach.
In a data breach crisis, being able to respond immediately to the concerns of your clients will be crucial in maintaining your business' reputation. It is important that you have data breach insurance coverage, so that you won't be hesitant to pay for the best professional services that are available.
Cost of Coverage
The cost of the data breach insurance coverage will be dependent on the size of your business, the reliance that your business has on technology and electronic information, the type of information that is being stored, as well as the expected loss that will be incurred. Most insurance brokers and companies will first need to review your company's policies and expenses before being able to provide you with an accurate quote.
How to Prevent Data Breaches
Although having data breach insurance coverage will cover your expenses in the event of a data breach crisis, you should still actively prevent breaches by implementing the following tactics:
- securing all computers and servers in a locked room. You may want to speak with a locksmith in order to get custom locks installed for these rooms. It is crucial that you limit the access that others have to these rooms.
- avoiding automatic log-ins. Although it may seem tedious to have all of the computers, laptops and electronics locked, you want to reduce the vulnerability of the information that is stored in the event that the electronics are misplaced or stolen.
- backing up all electronic information and data regularly and storing the backed-up information on secure hardware.
- making sure that all employees know to keep their laptops with them at all times — especially if you and your employees travel for business purposes. Never leave laptops and other electronics unattended. For example, don't check in your laptop. Bring it with you on your carry-on. Some professionals recommend marking all company electronics with special painting, so that they can be easily identified.
- taking all data breach claims seriously, and consulting in a professional to determine whether there are any vulnerabilities in the software.
- ensuring that clients and customers are not allowed to wander within the office unsupervised.
If your business handles confidential and private information and stores most of the information electronically, then do not cheap out on data breach insurance coverage. It might end up saving your business' reputation if it is to ever face a crisis. It is definitely a worthy investment to make to reduce expenses that may incur.