Small or midsized businesses are Most Prone to Cyberattack – How You Can Protect Your Company

internet screen security protection

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Considering that cyberattacks occur every day and cost the global economy a staggering $350 billion plus worldwide*, you would think strategizing to avoid such assaults would be a top priority of all businesses. Incredibly, it is not. In fact, according to a recent survey of 1,377 small and midsize company CEOs** 62% said their firms don’t have an up-to-date or active cybersecurity strategy…or any strategy at all.

That’s a significant problem, given the crippling damage that can occur – the National Cyber Security Alliance recently reported that 60% of small and midsized businesses that get hacked are out of business within six months.

If you’re running a small or midsize business (SMB) you are, plain and simple, at high risk. In fact, the majority of all cyberattacks happen to SMBs. Why? because SMBs tend to:

  • Lack sufficient security measures and trained personnel
  • Hold data that’s valuable to hackers (e.g., credit card numbers, protected health information)
  • Neglect to use an offsite source or third-party service to back up their files or data, making them vulnerable to ransomware
  • Connect to the supply chain of a larger company, and can be leveraged to break in

In 2013, hackers were able to breach Target via a link in their supply chain: a small HVAC company based in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania. This single event is in large part why so many SMBs are beginning to receive Information Security Questionnaires from their clients today. This is an effort by your clients to ascertain the strength of your information security program and mitigate risk.

SMBs also are prime targets for ransomware, which encrypts company data until a ransom is paid. Why? Unlike many large companies, SMBs often neglect to use an offsite source or third-party service to back up their files or data. In the event of an attack, they almost always need to pay the ransom to decrypt their files.

In addition, the use of social engineering for the propagation of malware is a persistent issue. The success rates and frequency of these types of attacks continues to grow. Social engineering and impostor detection should be included in any comprehensive user awareness training package. It also is important to realize that as great as security awareness training is, it can’t be used in isolation. Even with the best training in the world, your organization will succumb to social engineering tactics if you don’t stem the flow of incoming attacks.

Sensible security measures include controls such as a sophisticated spam filter, which should prevent the majority of simple phishing emails from finding their way into your users’ inboxes. Other measures might include email and attachment scanning, segmented network architecture, and an endpoint security system.

Consider the following steps to start building a cybersecurity strategy that keeps hackers out of your business.

1. Select an information security standard

Before a fortress can be built, the structure must be laid out in blueprints by an architect. You need a detailed plan to properly build your security program. ISO 27001 is an ideal choice due to its flexible, pragmatic approach and global recognition and acceptance.

2. Inventory your assets, determine their value and prioritize those most critical.

Identify the key assets in your company, whether those are databases, customer data, employee records, or intellectual property and determine their value and who is responsible for them.

3. Determine your company’s current cybersecurity risk surface.

Perform a comprehensive risk assessment of the assets to understand the threats, vulnerabilities, likelihood of occurrence and impact if the threats were realized. Work to reduce the risk to a level the organization is comfortable with.

Here are some other best-practice considerations:

  • Remain vigilant; keep up to date on the evolving nature of threats, join a threat-sharing organization (like Infragard)
  • Patch your systems: many recent attacks took advantage of vulnerabilities for which a CVE had already been published
  • Reduce your attack surface: harden the infrastructure, remove unneeded services and programs, close unused or risky ports
  • Employ strong antivirus, email and web filtering
  • Limit administrative rights
  • Segment the network to limit propagation
  • Educate and train your employees; regularly test their awareness

The best defense is a good offense. Make it a priority to protect your data for the benefit of your employees, your customers and the long-term health of your business.

*According to the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM) at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business.**Cisco and the National Center for the Middle Market.

Blog graciously provided by our partner:

Darrin Maggy, CISSP |vCISO, Managing Director| Ezentria, Inc | +1 (603) 339-4553 | dmaggy@ezentria.com

 

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Now offering Hartford for Commercial Insurance

TheHartford-LOGOApril 2018– We are happy to announce that we now offer business insurance solutions from The Hartford. “The Hartford is a very reputable brand with solid products to suit many of our customer’s needs. With their Business Owner’s Policies, Worker’s Compensation, Commercial Auto, Commercial Property and General Liability Insurance offerings, we are now even better able to find the best fit for our broad client base,” said David Keslar, President of Keslar Insurance.

About The Hartford: For more than 200 years, The Hartford has helped people prepare for the unexpected, protect what is important to them and prevail through life’s challenges and opportunities. The company’s success comes from their commitment to doing the right thing, while adapting and reinventing to remain relevant and indispensable to our customers. www.thehartford.com

Interested in learning more about The Hartford’s commercial offerings or discussing other business insurance coverages? Please contact us. We offer a large number of solutions for general liability, Business owner’s policy  (BOP), commercial auto, worker’s compensation and more. We have partnered with many leading commercial insurance carriers to make sure we can offer the right products at the right prices.  We’d love to help you! We also offer home, auto and life insurance to provide one stop service of all your insurance needs. www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.

Keslar wins Business of the Year from the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce

Keslar Insurance Business of the Year

Last week, we experienced one of the highlights of our work to date at Keslar Insurance: we were awarded a Business of The Year award from the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce. When we went to accept the award, I was grateful and I was speechless. I couldn’t articulate why this meant so much to us because so many things were running through my head.

When we started Keslar Insurance, we had already run a successful insurance agency for many years.  When we decided to work in the Seacoast area, we set our goal to always to be a integral part of our community. We wanted to provide value and make an impact every day.

First, we wanted to make sure we were always giving back. We focus on giving our time to those organizations around us where we feel we can make a direct impact, using our skills and experience.  For instance, we love supporting small business. Our volunteering with the Newmarket Business Association and the Exeter Area Chamber allows us to work with our friends and neighbors striving to support their business success. Our work with UNH Paul College and Great Bay Community College allows us to help young people who want to join the workforce be better prepared for success!

We also work to contribute to local organizations focused around kids and families. We focus on volunteering for local kids sports programs either as coaches or serving on boards. We wanted to make sure we made time to volunteer for groups like Lions clubs, as we know what a positive impact their organization makes to so many in the world around us.

There are so many good things we can do, but there are only so many hours in the day to volunteer. So, we have decided that as we can create a successful business, we can help provide sponsorship some really amazing local charities and non-profits that really help those in need – right  in our own backyard. To make sure that was a permanent part of our culture, we created our Keslar Cares program from day one, as we wanted it to be a part of the fabric of our business as we grow.

To run a successful business we need to provide exceptional service to our customers.   We always strive to find ways to continually improve: to always do better for our customers. We try to always work to find ways to better protect customers, to give real value for customers, to provide more education, and to make it easier to work with us. We want to make sure our employees live by these same goals and values- striving to do good for others in ways where they can make the best impact too.

So, I guess this is a long-winded way to say that to be recognized by the Exeter Chamber as one of their award recipients, it tells us we are working in the right direction. It confirms for us that we should do more volunteering.  We should continue to provide support of those local groups who really do good right were we live and work.  It means to us that when you do good, good comes back to you.

We thank those who nominated us for the award. We thank those who selected us for the award. We thank all those who have supported us: those who have become customers, those who give us referrals, those who have become friends and work with us directly and indirectly. We are so fortunate to spend each day with such amazing people in the community in which we are so fortunate to spend each day.

Sincerely,

Lisa Keslar

Brendan Jorgensen now Licensed P&C Agent for Keslar Insurance Agency

 

 

Brendan JorgensenKeslar Insurance Agency is pleased to announce that Brendan Jorgensen is now a licensed property and casualty agent in NH and ME. He is now able to fully support home, auto and business insurance.

“We are excited to see Brendan move to this next level in his career with us. We are confident that he will provide exceptional service throughout the relationship with our customers.” said Lisa Keslar of Keslar Insurance.

Brendan is a resident of Newmarket,  where he and his wife are raising their two children. He’s very active in the community including working with the Newmarket Business Association and the BeFree Community Church.

Learn more about Brendan.

About Keslar Insurance

Keslar Insurance Agency is a full service provider of residential and commercial insurance products in New Hampshire and Maine. Keslar Insurance makes sure clients have the right insurance products to protect the most important things in life-family, possessions and business. Keslar Insurance employees focus on providing the kind of service and value we’d expect for ourselves and our families. Our products which include Homeowners insurance, Auto, Life, Umbrella, Renters, Landlord, Boat, Snowmobile, ATV, Flood, Commercial Auto, Business Owner’s Policies, General Liability, Worker’s compensation, motor home, camper and more. For more information visit: www.keslarinsurance.com.


 

Risk of buying auto insurance online. Price isn’t everything. Here’s an example.

online shoppingThinking of buying your auto insurance online? Please be careful. We recently had a prospect use one of those “name your price” type of insurance websites. She did get insurance. She did like the payments. She thought she was all set.

What she didn’t realize that she was insured for the state minimum requirements of:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury, per person.
  • $50,000 for bodily injury, if multiple people are injured in an accident

That sounds like a lot, right? But think a bit about it. If there is an accident, and either one person is pretty hurt or multiple people are hurt, what will that cost? Costs can include

  • the ambulance rides to the hospital
  • emergency room fees
  • all the x-ray and other tests
  • the cost of utilizing beds
  • the cost of the each of the physicians who review reports and meets with the patients
  • Costs of any medications
  • or any equipment supplied…

We could go on and on. One resource we found online stated the average cost of EACH injury from a car accident is over $61,000. If that’s true, the coverage of 25,000/50,000 won’t go very far. What happens if the expenses are more than the coverage you have? That could be an expense you could be responsible for out of pocket. Can you afford that?

So, what if you chose that policy because you were very concerned about price? Great question. We recommend you work with an independent agent who can look numerous carriers for you. They can find the carrier who offers the best price for your needs. They can tell you how inexpensive it may be to increase those coverages. They can make sure you are really getting every discount for which you are eligible.

What did our customer do? She switched to us. We found her discounts- including bundling her home and auto policies with one carrier. She was able to get much more substantial coverages for only a few extra dollars a month when we looked at all her insurance needs in totality.

It does pay to be a smart shopper. It can pay to work with an independent agent who can review all this for you, at no charge to you.

If you’d like someone to review your policies so you can see if you really have the right coverages at the right price? Have any additional questions? We are here for you- anytime. Don’t hesitate to reach out and we’d be happy to answer any of your insurance questions. We can be reached at www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.  Keslar Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency offering business, home, auto and life insurance in NH and in ME

Are your child’s possessions insured when they go to college?

Aerial of CampusWhen your child goes to college, are their possessions covered by your homeowner’s policy? Like everything else, it depends.  We recommend you discuss this with your insurance agent to make sure that you know the best ways to keep your kid’s items protected.

On campus housing:

Most student personal possessions are covered under their parents’ homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy if the student lives in a dormitory.

  • There may be some limitations on how much it is covered for as “off premise possessions” are handled separately so always check with your agent to make sure it is enough to cover their belongings.
  • Encourage students to leave expensive jewelry and the like at home. Only bring essentials to school.

Off-Campus housing:

Students who live off-campus are most likely not covered under their parents’ homeowner’s insurance policy and need to purchase their own renter’s insurance policy. These policies are typically very inexpensive, often between $15-30/month!

  • Rental policies typically provide coverage for the personal property and liability coverage.
  • Discuss the importance of a “replacement cost policy” vs. an “actual cash value policy” with your agent.
  • Many renter’s policies will pay the extra cost to live somewhere else temporarily if the student needs to move out for a while if the apartment is damaged. This can happen in a building full of students!
  • Note: If the student lives in a rented apartment, house or condominium, the landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your personal property in the event that it is stolen or damaged as a result of a fire, theft or other unexpected circumstance.
  • If more than one student rents an apartment, house or condo, they each should have their own renter’s policy.
  • If your student is traveling abroad, ask you insurance agent if the renter’s policy includes coverage outside the US.

Compile an inventory of student belongings

In either case, it is good practice to create a list of the items the student is taking to college. This inventory will be helpful if the student’s property is stolen or damaged.

  • It should include the brand, make and model of each item, as well as serial numbers.
  • A photographic record is also helpful, especially if the student has personalized the laptop or tablet with a custom skin.
  • Keep the inventory in a safe place, along with receipts for the most expensive items.
  • The receipts will help establish value if the parents obtain replacement cost coverage.

Have questions? We are here for you- anytime. Don’t hesitate to reach out and we’d be happy to answer any of your insurance questions. We can be reached at www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.  Keslar Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency offering business, home, auto and life insurance in NH and in ME.

Keslar Insurance Agency Announces new hire, Brendan Jorgensen

brendan jorgensenNewmarket, NH, June 2017. – Keslar Insurance Agency, a leading provider of insurance solutions in NH and ME, announced the appointment of Brendan Jorgensen to the position of Administrator. Mr. Jorgensen comes to Keslar Insurance Agency with over 10 years of professional business and management experience which makes him well suited to continue contribute to Keslar’s focus on customer service.  Concurrently, Mr.Jorgensen is the Senior Pastor of the Newmarket BeFree Church. His work at the church requires him to foster strong community and individual relationships. Prior to this, Mr. Jorgensen worked as a Business Development Manager for Lamprey Networks in Durham, NH, where he was responsible for forming alliances with industry partners. He actively works with numerous non-profits including Friends of Newmarket, Newmarket Education Committee and the Newmarket Business Association. Mr. Jorgensen attended University of New Hampshire, receiving his BA in Psychology.

“I am delighted to be working with Keslar Insurance Agency, a company with an outstanding reputation in the insurance industry. I am impressed with the dedication of staff at Keslar Insurance to creating long term relationships with their clients by providing exceptional service,” said Jorgensen. “This is a wonderful opportunity for me to utilize my relationship skills to help clients address many of their insurance questions and related support activities. Because I have been so fortunate to have to listen carefully to customer’s needs and help address issues in previous positions, I understand firsthand the importance of providing consistent attention to detail in all forms of engagement,” continued Jorgensen.

“Brendan Jorgensen brings to Keslar Insurance Agency relevant experience, people skills and communication capability that will allow him to make substantial contributions to our organization. His hands-on experience working in people support positions, coupled with his years of business experience- will provide our clients exceptional support and care. I am pleased that this position has been filled with such a professional,” said Lisa Keslar, Vice President of Keslar Insurance Agency.

About Keslar Insurance Agency

Keslar Insurance Agency is a full service provider of residential and commercial insurance products in New Hampshire and Maine. Keslar Insurance makes sure clients have the right insurance products to protect the most important things in life-family, possessions and business. Keslar Insurance employees focus on providing the kind of service and value we’d expect for ourselves and our families. Our products which include Homeowners insurance, Auto, Life, Umbrella, Renters, Landlord, Boat, Snowmobile, ATV, Flood, Commercial Auto, Business Owner’s Policies, General Liability, Worker’s compensation, motor home, camper and more. For more information visit: www.keslarinsurance.com.