You’ve probably heard stories of millions of customers who have been affected by data breaches. Apple, Home Depot and Target – all brands we trust to protect our data – have all had data breaches. But did you know that small businesses can fall victim to data breaches, too?
According to data compiled by Information is Beautiful, over the last decade, the number of breaches has increased every year since 2004. Unfortunately, small businesses often make up the majority of cyber breach victims.
In most cases, small businesses are easier targets. They often don’t have access to the same IT, security and legal expertise as big brands like Apple, Home Depot or Target. Faced with a big risk and relatively little resources, it’s more important than ever for small business owners like you to respond appropriately when your customers’ data is compromised.
Consider these tips to help protect your business and your customers’ data.
Be a Detective
When a data breach happens, we recommend you quickly investigate. When you understand the breach, you can understand how the breach happened, how many of your customers were affected, how to resolve the breach and how to prevent future breaches.
Ask a Lawyer
It’s also important that you understand the legal implications of the breach. In cases where your business and reputation are at stake, fast access to legal advice could make a big difference in how your business responds to the situation.
Understandably, most small businesses don’t have in-house legal counsel. Even fewer have a lawyer on retainer. However, you may be covered through your insurance provider, if they cover legal expenses associated with a data breach.
Reporting Requirements and Liability
Depending on what provinces your business operates from, you may be legally required to report a data breach to your customers and/or the government. You may also face fines.
Another major concern is your liability following the breach. Depending on the number of customers affected and the type of information that was compromised, you may face a class action lawsuit.
Get Cyber Insurance
The costs associated with notifying your customers, government fines and dealing with a lawsuit can be covered if your insurance policy includes the proper cyber coverage. Cyber insurance is typically designed to cover issues like data breaches.
Don’t mess with risk. A good insurance provider can help you understand the implications of a data breach and how you can protect your small business before a breach happens.
This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information. * Services are not an insurance policy. Not all policies are eligible, contact us for details.
® and ™ Northbridge Financial Corporation, licensed by Northbridge General Insurance Corporation (insurer of TruShield Insurance policies). Terms, conditions and exclusions apply, see policy for details. Legal expense insurance underwritten by DAS Legal Protection Insurance Company Limited
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