Small- and mid-size businesses are becoming aware of the importance of protecting their businesses and their data from cybercriminals. For these businesses, the need to strategically protect their digital assets is quickly becoming just as, if not more, important as their other needs that are typically addressed through their insurance agents.
It’s clear that several arms within the federal government as well as many state governments are increasing their focus on small- and mid-size business security, noting that small businesses are the heart of the country’s economy, yet they often are incapable of protecting themselves from cyber attacks, let alone recovering from one. Small businesses are struggling to leverage technology to reduce their cyber risk and transfer the residual risk to a third party via cyber insurance.
With today’s constant borage of news headlines and seemingly unlimited information available with the click of a button, business owners learn about potential cyber threats, but the steps to take to mitigate or prevent an actual data breach still are unclear for many business owners and their IT staff. Small- and mid-size businesses are demanding robust solutions to deliver financial peace of mind as well as cyberprotection—an essential need for Robert Zimmer Vice president, Strategy and Business Development, GamaSec many businesses, especially if they rely on their online presence to sell or market products and/or services.
In today’s internet-based world, there is so much at stake— customer information, intellectual property, brand loyalty and the hard-earned good reputation, that go far beyond just their bottom line. Agencies can strengthen their value proposition to existing clients and open doors to many new businesses by offering cyber insurance and cybersecurity services to reduce their clients’ cyber risk. Small- and mid-size businesses
need enterprise-class solutions that are built and priced for them. They don’t see many viable solutions and they naturally lean toward the trusted vendors they’ve worked with in the past. There is a big opportunity for IT solution providers to include financial protection, and at the same time, there is an opportunity for insurance agents to offer cyber insurance with cybersecurity services to manage cyber risk better. Whichever meets these needs first is well positioned for accelerated growth.
As businesses continue their transformation to a digital business, they’re now more aware of their need to manage risk and shore up the resilience of their business. Your agency can help fill this void in supply to address the evergrowing demand.
How agents can help
Professional, independent insurance agencies that realize the need for speed will ride this wave of growth. Existing and prospective customers will see the benefits, although agencies need to present the correct combination of easy-to-understand, effective solutions—after all, it’s a brand-new concept to purchase financial protection alongside cybersecurity. It is important to offer a reasonable policy and proven cybersecurity technology and services at an affordable price.
Now is the time to marry cyber insurance with cybersecurity technology and services. We need strategic partnerships between insurers, agencies and the technology side of cybersecurity—just as small- and mid-size businesses struggle to acquire solutions that simultaneously meet their business and IT requirements. Small-business owners need strong guidance from their agents. In fact, the coupling of their insurance agent with technology actually simplifies the entire process—from application to claims,
as the technology and services end of the deal helps to show insurability as well as what happened following a potential cyber attack.
Agencies can serve a pioneering role in this transforming market that aims to bring the two industries together to meet critical small- and mid-size business needs before, during and after cyber attacks. Agencies should consider the following guidelines to strengthen their ability to capture this opportunity
with their clients: Before an attack: Reduce risk— help customers avoid being low-hanging fruit. A business’s ability to limit risk is directly associated with its ability to proactively find its cyber weak spots. Doing so by firing a series of test attacks against the company is both an effective and enlightening process—further illustrating the need for protection.
Additionally, businesses are not experts at purchasing hardware or maintaining software. They usually don’t have the time or desire to be experts. Instead, they demand cloud-based security that’s managed on their behalf, offering advanced protections from a wide variety of the latest threats—all automatically, without any initial intervention from the owner or his team.
During an attack: Lower the risk of cybercriminal attacks. To prevent potentially catastrophic damage to businesses, your customers need
security services with strong capabilities to prevent a wide variety of adversaries, some of which are persistent, patient and well-funded.
They attack your customers in many ways, such as through Distributed Denial of Service attacks that cannot be blocked by normal antivirus or anti-malware solutions. Once compromised by a DDoS attack, a company may be blacklisted or banned by web-hosting services because of the abnormal traffic.
After an attack: Prevent cybercriminals from help keep their doors open even after an attack. The impact of financial loss experienced by a business owner in the aftermath of a data breach is never an easy situation with which to deal. Their private customer data can fall into the wrong hands—and unhappy customers can walk away forever. It’s not only embarrassing but also a potential door closer. Unfortunately, many businesses across most industries already have experienced this, or will in the near term.
The immediate money required to allow businesses to move forward right after a loss can be an overwhelming burden. The marriage of cyber insurance and cybersecurity technology and services will enable your customers to quickly get back on their feet following a cyber attack and significantly increase the resiliency of their businesses.
What use is this new approach to protection described in this article if it takes forever for a business to get its money, if at all? Managing each cyberattack and its associated claim with speed and efficiency is essential to the overall survival of the business. Embedding cybersecurity technology and services into the claims process actually reduce the time between claim submission and payment.
Educating agents is a critical success factor in driving your growth with small and mid-size businesses. Cybersecurity companies need to educate agents and develop enablement programs so they know how to address the obvious pain points that small- and mid-sized businesses face each day. Agents need to seek out or establish strategic partnerships with cybersecurity companies and technology leaders that offer this knowledge. With this daily concern facing all businesses, there is little stopping a well-equipped team once those involved “know their stuff.”
Small- and mid-size businesses cyberattacks are growing at an alarming pace—and have gained significant attention in the media, which usually only reports on the big firms that have name recognition. Imagine how many untold small and mid-size businesses face the same cyber threats, but never gain the press that larger companies receive.
There is little doubt that small- and mid-size businesses owners are starting to understand the importance of creating and maintaining a strong cybersecurity enforcement program. The attacks are common. Becoming a victim is something you can help prevent. In fact, your agency can help to develop this combination of technology and insurance that businesses will highly appreciate year after year.
“This article is provided by Gamasec, official partner of Ehost Internet Data Center”.
“Zimmer is vice president of strategy and business development at GamaSec (gamasec.com), a global provider of website security solutions for small- and mid-sized businesses. The company offers a unique combination of cloud-based website vulnerability identification, remediation as-service, web-attack prevention as well as a Data Breach Limited Warranty. Reach him at email@example.com.”