The Technology Age is lending convenience and efficiency in all areas of business. It’s an exciting time in which we live that allows hyper-connectivity. With all the advantages technology lends, it is inevitable that hidden challenges are lurking in the background.

Cyber-crimes are on the rise. It is projected that cyber-crime damage costs will rise to $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. These numbers are staggering, to say the least.

Business owners need to take action before disaster strikes. Here are a few steps you can take to help protect your company and clients.

Insurance

As a business owner, please take care to ensure you have the proper insurance policies to protect yourself and your future. Safeguards are important to have in place and add a layer of protection for all. A conversation with your insurance broker is in order to review if your employees’, clients’ or internal accounts could be hacked. Visit with them to review the potential exposure scenarios in regard to your line of business.

Disaster Recovery Plan

Have a plan in place. Know which steps to take, who to contact, and when and how to communicate the breach. Work closely with your information technology company and think through all possible scenarios. Following these basic steps will aid in less downtime, expedited recovery of funds, and show your team and clients that you are prepared for any potential disaster.

Educate Your Employees

Take the time to educate your Team on helpful tips and tricks to avoid being “hooked”. There are many tell-tale signs of criminal activity and understanding when and how these instances occur greatly minimizes the risk of infection. Have regular conversations with your staff regarding best practices for sending and receiving client information. No items should be sent via email without encryption at the very least. Multi-level authentication coupled with dedicated client portals are an excellent solution for the secure sharing of information.

Cyber hackers are working overtime to creatively access and utilize information of any kind and are constantly knocking at your backdoor. Their efforts are especially concentrated during our busy times of the year. All information is valuable and can be auctioned off for an infinite number of uses and scams. If an information or change request happens to come through via email, a simple phone call direct to your client for verification is a great way to double check. We are all very busy, but when it comes to safety and security your clients will appreciate the extra time taken.

Take the time to educate yourself to properly protect you, your clients, and their employees.