Do small businesses have a false sense of cyber-security?

A recent article posted on tackled the issue of cyber-security, and shines a light on the fact that small businesses may not be taking their cyber-risks seriously.

photo courtesy

photo courtesy

Businesses outside the information technology sector seem less likely to seek cyber liability insurance since news broke last December 19 about the breach involving Target, suggests Insureon, an insurance provider for small business.

In a statement Wednesday, Insureon identified that in the months before information came out on Target’s data breach, 9% of non-IT Insureon applicants requested cyber coverage. In the months since, only 5% have made the request.

Insureon cautions that it appears media portrayals of breaches are giving small businesses a false sense of security.

“The reality is that small businesses get hacked far more often than big ones,” Ted Devine, CEO of Insureon, says in the company statement. “But you’re not going to turn on the evening news and hear about the florist on the corner getting breached. You’re going to hear about Michael’s and Neiman Marcus and P. F. Chang’s,” Devine continues.

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Gone Phishing?

There has been a lot of awareness generated about fraudulent activities that target seniors, usually with
telephone calls, to get them to give up personal and banking account information. In a digital age, however, anyone who spends time online is a target for ‘phishers’.

Phishing is a form of fraucyber-crime-500d that is actioned online, where the fraudster(s) pose as legitimate companies in order to access financial information. Phishing is typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter personal details – account numbers, login details, passwords – at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one. (Wikipedia)

Personal attacks are most common, but more and more businesses are now being targeted:

Businesses aren’t being attacked by computers, but by people attempting to exploit human frailty as much as technical vulnerability. It is a strategy problem, a human problem and a process problem,’’ said Steven Henderson, who leads PwC’s Canadian forensic services.

Cyber-crime is on the rise, and all industries are struggling to defend themselves. In a recent study published by PwC, one in three Canadian business admit to being the victim of economic fraud of varying degrees.

Just like telemarketers phishers are virtually impossible to stop. So what should you do if you suspect that you are being ‘phished’? On the personal side, Gord Jamieson, head of risk services at Visa Canada states that “emails shouldn’t be opened, [and] they shouldn’t be deleted until after they’re forwarded to law enforcement, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at”

For businesses, the challenges to overcome phishing and cyber-crime are significantly increased due to the number of vulnerabilities – be it the people using technology or the software and online platforms themselves – within their systems and the fact that we have become so dependent upon technology for the daily execution of business. Tightening online security in the workplace, including adding additional layers of anti-virus and/or anti-phishing software and enforcing strict controls over internet access, is really the only option.

For more data on the impact of phishing on Canadians, please click here to read an article posted on

Avoiding a slippery situation for your small business

Winter weather can spell insurance disaster!

You’re a smart small business owner. You pay attention to your customers needs. You pay attention to your bottom line. How closely do you pay attention to the weather?

In the winter, January through March are prime season for icy conditions and that means you are taking on extra risk as a business or property owner. Slippery walkways result in a great deal of insurance claims each year, but if you aren’t properly covering your own tail when it comes to slip and fall lawsuits, you could find your profit margin cooling off very drastically.

If you don’t have coverage and don’t understand what your liability is regarding property maintenance, you need to stop get clear on your policy coverage!

Even if you are already signed up for a policy that covers you for slip and fall Navnet Stanford Wong er synonymt med at vinde i blackjack – bogstaveligt talt. accidents, make sure that you are as safe as you think; you might be surprised at what you could still be on the hook if someone does hurt themselves on your property. Here are a few tips to minimize your chances of landing in a slippery situation:

  • The best way to avoid being stuck on the hook for damages is to do your best to make sure your property is safe so nobody hurts themselves in the first place.
  • Write a plan that outlines potentially dangerous areas on your property and how you are going to keep them safe.
  • Have a routine of de-icing and safeguarding trouble spots and document each time you inspect them.
  • Accurate record keeping goes a long way to proving that you haven’t been negligent. Document the weather conditions each day and pay special attention in your log book to walkways and parking lots during the winter.

If you own a larger property, things get more complicated and maintenance work can be more then you can take care of yourself. You can hire a maintenance company to take care of it for you, but be sure that you get your contract reviewed by a lawyer or bring it to your insurance broker or advisor so that you understand exactly what you are and are not responsible for.

Understanding your insurance needs is complicated and for a better understanding of what coverage your unique business needs, get educated on what you need to manage the extra risk that comes with snowy weather.

Originally posted by Durham Business Times Blogging Team