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Protect yourself with cyber insurance | Money Smart

The damages of a cyber attack can be long-lasting, especially if you’re a business owner. Your money, reputation and customers trust are on the line.

SAN ANTONIO — If you’re hit with a cyberattack, the damages can be long-lasting, especially if you’re a business owner. Your money, reputation and customers trust are on the line. 

Jonathan Trimble, a former FBI agent of 24 years, says businesses can take steps today to protect themselves. During his time with the agency he investigated various criminal matters, including corporate fraud, identity theft, violent crime, money laundering and computer crime. 

He’s now the founder and CEO of Bawn, a company providing cybersecurity services for companies across the U.S. Trimble explained how the average cost of a data breach has increased over the last several years.

“Back in 2018, it was about $3.8 million. (In) 2020, it was about $8.9 million, the average cost of a cyberattack, and that’s incorporating the entire scale of businesses," he said. "If you look at small businesses, the cost is much lower, it’s about $200,000, but that has a very large impact on small businesses."

He further shared that 60% of small businesses which fall victim to a cyberattack end up closing down operations within six months. He said cyber insurance is a critical component of a business, but finds that people don’t think of adding it to their business plan.

“A lot of times, cybersecurity is not a core competency of an organization, especially small businesses. If you’re a law firm, you’re focused on case log and keeping up to date on that. If you’re a CPA firm, you’re focused on doing financial record keeping or tax returns,” he said. “Businesses should not think it’s not going to happen to them. It’s better for them to start somewhere, instead of just hoping it won’t happen to them.”

Cyberinsurance can help a company recover from a data breach, including costs associated with work stoppage, system damages, legal fees and ransoms. He said there are many options and coverage can be tailored to your business.

“Over the past few years, insurance underwriters have gotten more savvy as far as what type of assistance to cover, what security controls need to be in place. They ask a lot of questions that they haven’t before,” Trimble said.

He said it depends on what’s included in the policy, but, overall, coverage is surprisingly cheap compared to other insurance policies.