As we enter October, which is Cyber Security Awareness Month, we thought it would be appropriate to revisit this topic. Whether your business sells designer clothes, sporting goods or lumber and building materials, you’re at risk of a cyber-attack.
Cyber risk has been a growing concern for businesses of all sizes and across all industries in recent decades. But today that risk has been multiplied exponentially with businesses embracing remote work and more and more digital transactions among vendors, customers, employees and more.
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were more than 1.1 million data breaches in 2020. Lumber businesses of all sizes have been threatened by cyber criminals and we expect that only more will fall victim to this crime if not properly prepared.
Cybercriminals look to exploit network and software vulnerabilities. They conduct phishing schemes often over email coaxing employees to share sensitive information or encouraging them to unknowingly download ransomware. Or they attack via a business email compromise scheme, hiding behind a recognized vendor email address and requesting compromising information.
Protecting against ransomware is a key part of this. Ransomware placed on a computer, either through a phishing attempt, business email compromise scheme or weakness in software can cost a business tremendously both financially and in terms of their reputation. Cyber carriers have faced increased cyber-attacks and losses due to the rise in frequency and severity of ransomware attacks. This year, we’ve already received 17 cyber claims, all of which were either the result of ransomware or spoof mail.
Fortunately, there are some common steps that business owners can take to mitigate their risk. The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency provides specific recommendations including: using multifactor authentication, confirming email senders are known users, verifying links and attachments, updating systems and purchasing antivirus programs. In addition, lumber and material dealers should consider hiring a third-party IT services firm to monitor their systems.
To avoid the dangers of cyber risks, we recommend that all lumber and building material dealers not only consider taking several measures to mitigate their risk, but also adding a comprehensive cyber insurance policy to their current insurance plan. A good policy will cover data breaches, computer attacks, and identity fraud with online resources built to assist policyholders in avoiding and managing cyber-attacks. Reach out to your Business Development Representatives to further discuss cyber liability policy options to help safeguard your business, employees, and customers.