Change and evolution are critical to the survival of any business. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a reminder that while some change is incremental, other changes must happen overnight. In just days and weeks, many businesses have been forced to transform their business plans in order to keep their employees and customers safe while still providing important products and services. Although most wood businesses have been deemed essential, many have had to make significant changes to their operations to comply with ever changing state guidelines.
From communication to point-of-sale, the common thread we see in all of this change is that we have had to adapt to new technologies that allow us to come together while we are farther apart. These changes leave us more vulnerable from a cyber security perspective.
At PLM, we utilize the expertise of a Cyber Consultant, BTB Security, to ensure that we stay on top of evolving exposures within the company and externally. BTB shares five considerations for you and your business in the time of COVID-19:
Know your data — Do you know what data your employees leverage to complete their tasks? Where is that data and how do employees access it? Has this changed with recent adjustments? Are your employees using non-corporate accounts with file sharing services like Dropbox or Google Drive? Understanding your data increases your visibility. You can’t protect what you aren’t aware of!
Reinforce awareness principles – It is important to consistently remind employees of the common threats to which your business is susceptible. Use this time as an opportunity to remind employees that cyber threats remain the same but may be dressed up differently. For example, phishing emails may use Coronavirus in the subject line to grab the reader’s attention.
Stress the importance of IT Hygiene – This is critical for individual employees and the company. Keep systems up-to-date and security tools installed. Continue monitoring security threats, and elevate any concerns to the appropriate parties. Use this as an opportunity to identify gaps in visibility and invest time in closing those gaps.
Consider risks of rapid changes – Rapidly deploying unfamiliar, new technologies may be necessary (e.g., collaboration tools, endpoint security tools). Rapid and expansive changes lend themselves to unintentional misuse, abuse and/or misconfiguration. When making quick investments in new technologies, be sure to educate often. Revisit utilization and function periodically: weekly, monthly, quarterly.
Acknowledge exceptions and provide accepted workarounds – The situation we are in is unprecedented. Employees may get “creative” with corporate assets to educate and/or entertain themselves and their families. This introduces some additional risk that should be considered. Messaging about accepted usage should be balanced and reasonable and explain procedures in detail.
As we push past COVID-19, we will not return to how things were before. The entire world will seek a new normal — including you and your business partners here at PLM. Safe cyber practices are critical not only in this pandemic state but as we move forward.
PLM package policies offer cyber coverage to help with your mitigation efforts. The cyber suite is designed to help businesses affected by data breaches and cyberattacks with five coverages:
- Data compromise response expense coverage – Resources to respond to a breach of personal information.
- Computer attack coverage – Resources to respond to a computer attack.
- Cyber extortion coverage – Resources for responding to an extortion threat.
- Data compromise liability coverage – Coverage for defense and settlement costs in the event of a suit related to breach of personal information.
- Network security liability coverage – Coverage for defense and settlement costs in the event of a suit alleging that a system security failure on the part of the insured caused damage to a third party.
To give you a jumpstart on your cyber safety efforts, PLM cyber coverage also provides:
- Access to the eRiskHub – A portal with templates, training modules and other risk management tools to prepare for and respond to data breach and cyber attacks.
- Access to “TechQ” – Free computer diagnostics by phone, plus competitive rates for virus removal, technical assistance and digital security services.
- Access a toll-free helpline — Get answers to your questions about cyber security.
No business is too small to be immune to cyber exposures. As technology use evolves through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a reminder that cyber exposures are constant and increasing. To discuss cyber coverages and limits available at your next effective date, contact your local Business Development Representative.