In 2020, our companies conducted more work online than ever before due to the global pandemic. As many employers transitioned to remote work in response to the COVID-19 crisis there was a scramble to get new equipment for employees to use at home, move existing data to the cloud, employ new digital project-management systems, and find other ways for staff to communicate digitally when they could not meet face-to-face. As a result, there has been amazing technological innovation within our businesses. Unfortunately, this also means that cyberthreats have increased as hackers have seen more opportunities for data breaches with more information online.

A new Nationwide Agent Authority Survey found that a high number of both consumers and businesses are unprepared for the evolving cyberthreats. According to Nationwide, since most people are in survival mode focusing on keeping their businesses and families operational in these unprecedented times, there has not been enough focus on cybersecurity.

According to their findings, small business owners are overly confident that they will not face a cyberattack and are thus unprepared to do so. Only 37% of entrepreneurs polled, felt that they were vulnerable to hackers. More disturbing still, only 17% of businesses reported having cyber liability insurance. As a result, most independent insurance agents reported feeling that their clients were underprepared.

Middle-market businesses may be in a better position when it comes to digital information assaults. Nationwide’s survey found that 70% of middle-market business owners are concerned about cyberattacks. This is nearly double the percentage of small business owners who responded likewise. Because these more established businesses have cybersecurity at the forefront of their minds, many of them have existing defenses in place to deter hackers. This study shows that 79% said they felt well-prepared to deal with such an assault and 80% felt they would recover well if they experienced one.

Businesses are not the only ones being targeted by hackers. 60% of consumers reported having been targeted for online assaults and phishing attempts, but only 32% felt they were well-prepared to deal with such attacks. According to Nationwide’s article, consumer confidence in their ability to recover from a cyberattack was very low, with many respondents unsure of their ability to recover at all and the costs associated with doing so.  
In order to protect yourself from possible cyberattacks, there are a few precautions you can take. Firstly, educate yourself on the data surrounding account security and learn one easy fix you can make to deter hackers by reading “Microsoft Released Important Data on Account Security.” Next, to help ensure data security while working from home, read our article here. You can arm yourself with knowledge and utilize all the tools you have at your disposal to avoid being an easy target. Having cyber liability insurance is also a great way to ensure that you can recover financially if you do experience an assault. While cyberthreats are becoming increasingly common as technology advances, knowing the risks and taking the appropriate steps to protect yourself and your business can keep you safe from criminals seeking to steal your information.

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