October 3, 2022

6 Steps to Become Your Client's Cyber Risk Advisor: A Broker's Guide

From hacked bank accounts to classified information being auctioned on the dark web, many businesses have had to learn the hard way the importance of cyber security and cyber insurance.

Yet, with so many cyber attacks happening daily, many remain unprotected and lack knowledge and basic understanding of practices to protect themselves from cybercriminals.

As a broker, your clients look to you for guidance, and a vital part of your job is educating them about the risks of cyber attacks and how to protect their business through both security and insurance.

In this blog post, we will highlight six important things you should do with clients as their cyber expert to help prepare and protect themselves from cyber threats.

1. Educate Your Clients on Current Cyber Crime Trends

Staying up-to-date on the latest cybercrime trends as a broker is imperative, to say the least. The cybersecurity landscape is growing and evolving every day. From new regulations to new threats and attacks, it’s important to stay on top of developments.

Here are a few examples of cyber security trends to know:

  1. In the first half of 2022, there was a 42% increase in weekly cyberattacks globally with every region experiencing a significant escalation.
  2. The cost of cybercrime is predicted to hit $10.5 trillion by 2025, according to the latest version of the Cisco/Cybersecurity Ventures "2022 Cybersecurity Almanac."
  3. Cybercriminals are targeting small and middle-sized businesses more frequently. 43% of attacks are aimed at SMBs, but only 14% are prepared to defend themselves, according to Accenture.

2. Encourage Your Clients to Update Their Software

It's crucial that your clients keep all of their technology and software up to date with the latest versions available. A recurring reminder from you may be exactly what they need to stay on top of this. These security patches address any known vulnerabilities.

If they have the option to receive updates automatically, then they should take advantage since it's one of the most highly recommended practices by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. When a software program’s support or updates are discontinued, this is known as end-of-life (EOL) and any EOL software product should be retired immediately.

3. Tell Your Clients About Password Security

A password breach can be defined as an incident where an unauthorized third party gains access to an organization’s confidential data. This type of breach can occur through various methods, such as phishing scams, SQL injections, and malware. In some cases, a password breach can also occur due to weak or easily guessed passwords, and through the years there have been several significant password breach cases. A complex password is a strong password. Your clients should use both letters, numbers, and varying capitalization in their passwords and regularly update them to protect their confidential information.

4. Talk To Your Client's About MFA & Email Security

Email is one of the most commonly used communication tools in the world, which is why it is also one of the most vulnerable to security threats. With just a few clicks, cybercriminals can gain access to your client's email account and use it to send malware, phish for sensitive information, or commit fraud. And small or big, no company is immune to these types of attacks, including Facebook.

Here are a few steps that your clients can take to increase their email security:

  • Multi-factor authentication is an essential layer of security that requires you to enter a code from your phone or another device in addition to your password when logging in. This makes it much more difficult for someone to hack into your account.
  • Links and attachments in emails can sometimes be used to hack into your client's account. Remind your client's to be careful when clicking on links and only download attachments from sources that they trust.

5. Help Them Form a Data Breach Response Plan

A data breach is a security incident in which sensitive, confidential, or protected data is accessed and/or used by unauthorized individuals. A data breach can occur when an unauthorized person gains access to data, whether through physical means such as stealing a laptop or server, or through cyber means such as hacking into a database. When a data breach occurs, it is important to have a data breach plan in place to quickly and effectively respond to the incident. This plan should include steps for containment, notification, and recovery.

Here are a few things your clients should keep in mind when planning a data breach response plan:

  • Contain the breach and prevent any further data loss
  • Notify affected customers as soon as possible. They have a right to know what happened and what you're doing to fix the problem
  • Be transparent with the media and the public. A data breach can damage your reputation, but being open and honest about what happened can help to repair it

6. Get Ready for Cyber Insurance With 1Fort

With no sign of slowing down, it’s important for your clients to protect themselves from cyberattacks and to understand how and why. As a broker, you have the opportunity to not only help your client mitigate one of the greatest threats to their business, but also give them peace of mind knowing they have one less thing to worry about in their business.

As you discuss cyber security with your client and help them get cyber insurance, it's essential that they fix gaps that could prevent them from getting the best possible coverage.

1Fort helps you easily advise your clients on all the security controls above – and more – without any manual work needed. We'll also help them auto-fill different carrier applications to get them better premiums and coverage.

Schedule a demo today to learn more.