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High-profile cyber attacks on companies such as Target have raised awareness of the growing threat of cyber crime. Recent surveys conducted by the U.S. Small Business Administration suggest that many small business owners are still operating under a false sense of cyber security based on their company’s size.

When it comes to cyber attacks, small does not equate with safe. In fact, a cyber attack could be even more detrimental to a small business than to a large corporation. The National Cyber Security Alliance reports that 60 percent of small and mid-sized businesses go out of business within six months of an attack.

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, costs related to ransomware demands and damages is estimated to reach $20 billion per year by 2021. Can your company afford the costs, loss of productivity, and public relations fallout associated with a cyber attack?

Start Simple

Even if you don’t currently have the resources to bring in an outside expert to test your computer systems and make security recommendations, you should take action to help reduce your risk of falling victim to a cyber attack.

  1. Train employees, emphasizing confidentiality and integrity.
  2. Install, use, and regularly update antivirus and antispyware software on all business computers and devices.
  3. Use a firewall for your internet connection to prevent unauthorized private network access.
  4. Download and install software updates for your operating systems and applications as available.
  5. Make frequent backup copies of important business data and information.
  6. Control physical access to your computers and network components based on need and job responsibilities.
  7. Secure your wi-fi networks and create a secondary connection for visitors.
  8. Require individual user accounts for each employee to eliminate sharing login information and unintentionally exposing access to uninvited users.
  9. Limit employee access to data and information and restrict authority to install software.
  10. Regularly change and securely store passwords.

Cyber Support

AHERN Insurance Brokerage can help you develop cyber coverage and protocols to keep your business on track. Please contact us discuss your specific needs and concerns so we can update your cyber preparedness. You can also call (800) 282-9786 to speak with an AHERN Professional or complete this online application to receive a no-obligation quote for Cyber Liability insurance.

AHERN Insurance Brokerage is a proud agency partner of Acrisure, a top 10 global insurance broker. Our relationship with Acrisure allows us to provide our clients access to policies, resources, and expertise often outside the reach of stand-alone agencies. Along with competitive pricing, our service is backed by dedicated, local customer service.

Last month, another major cyberattack on a law firm made headlines once again. A cybercriminal ring stole a huge cache of data from a major media and entertainment law firm. The hacker group initially demanded a $21 million dollar ransom for the stolen private documents, which then doubled to $42 million. This was a law firm with on-site IT support and sophisticated safe guards that now has their name splashed across the news creating a publicity nightmare, reputational free-fall and sleepless nights for all of their clients.

While blockbuster data breaches against household names tend to make the news, attacks against smaller organizations are now so frequent that they are no longer newsworthy. In the most recent Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, for example, 58% of victims were categorized as small businesses.

Cyber threats are rapidly evolving and there are a plethora of ways in which attackers can access networks. As protectors of sensitive information, it’s important that law firms are conscious of IT security and take steps to protect themselves from threats.

                          TITLE: Cyber Threats: How to Make Your Firm Resilient to Cyber Risk
                          PRESENTER: Adam Abresch, CIC, CCIC, CLCS
                          DATE: Thursday, June 25, 2020
                          TIME: 12PM to 1PM PST
                          COST: FREE for SDCBA Members ($25 for Non-Members)

In this FREE webinar, you will learn more about:

• The Numbers behind Cyber Risk
• What’s at Risk for your firm
• The Cost of a Cyber Breach
• The Solution

You will also receive a Cyber Risk Exposure Scorecard to better understand where you may be vulnerable to the new reality of cyber criminals.

Cyber awareness and protection is becoming essential for law firms of all sizes and areas of practice. We hope you can join us for a very informative hour!

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As the Cyber Risk Practice Leader at Acrisure, Adam is responsible for designing custom Cyber, Crime and Technology solutions for Acrisure clients across the globe. Adam is also a guest lecturer at Fordham University, Hofstra University and leads Cyber Liability education for over 250 Acrisure Partner Agencies throughout the country.

Adam is a frequent speaker and thought leader on Cyber Risk, including featured presentations at NetDiligence, the Professional Liability Underwriters Society (PLUS) Cyber Conference and the New Jersey and New York City Bar Associations. Adam graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and maintains a Certified Insurance Counselor designation (CIC), Cyber COPE Insurance Certification from Carnegie Mellon/Chubb and was the recipient of NetDiligence’s 2019 Toby Merrill Rising Star Award.

Stories about massive computer hacking appear with increasing frequency. The perpetrators include state actors, sophisticated criminal operators around the world, political groups, and disgruntled employees. Victims of cybercrime include major corporations, political campaigns, and government agencies. Unfortunately, lawyers are not immune from this phenomenon!

It is challenging to keep pace with rapidly changing technology and sophisticated cybercriminals. There are, however, steps that will significantly reduce your risk of data breaches.

Click here to continue reading this article…

Our own Kelley L. Milks will be speaking to the Santa Barbara / Ventura Section of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 about Cyber Liability Insurance.

Kelley’s presentation entitled, “The Wild West of Cyber Liability: What You Need To Know”, will cover the History of Privacy, Cyber Liability, Policy Endorsements, and Exclusions you should review carefully. Kelley will help you answer whether your existing policies cover this unique exposure to Cyber threats. Kelley will also explain what you should do before you explore buying coverage and what to know about your existing coverage.

Please click here for more information on how to register for this event.