The beauty industry might seem a million miles away from data breaches and cyberattacks. But the ugly truth is that your salon may be more at risk than you think.
Australian small businesses are a favourite target of cybercriminals. A 2020 Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) survey found that 62% of respondents had experienced a cyber incident during the previous year. As cyber threats continue to evolve, beauty professionals may need to rethink how they protect their businesses.
You might think as a salon owner you are not vulnerable to a cyberattack. After all, your business only runs off a laptop and you don’t hold a lot of sensitive information. Think again. Your laptop holds a wealth of information and drives many interactions that could put your small business at risk.
Jane Mason, Head of Product, Channels & Risk at BizCover, reveals why small businesses like salons are prime targets for cybercrimes and how salon owners can manage their financial risks following an incident.
Why small businesses?
You may hear a lot about cyberattacks happening to big corporations, but that doesn’t mean your beauty business is safe. Cybercriminals often prefer to go after small businesses because they’re usually easier targets.
“Many small businesses are completely unprepared for a cyberattack,” says Jane. “They may not have the time to educate themselves and their staff on common threats. And with so much else on their plate, they might decide to prioritise other areas of running their business over cybersecurity.”
Salon owners also tend to rely on outside suppliers and partners to help them run their businesses. These relationships are another way for crafty criminals to hack into systems, steal data, or initiate unauthorised transfers.
Others simply don’t have the budget for cybersecurity. That same ACSC survey found that almost half of small businesses spent less than $500 per year on cybersecurity.
What can beauty professionals do?
The world of cybercrime moves fast. It might seem impossible for beauty professionals to stay one step ahead of threats. However, even small steps could help lower your chances of becoming a cybercrime statistic.
Learning how to spot common cyberattacks is a good place to start. If you can recognise a phishing message, you may be less likely to fall for the con. The cyber.gov.au website has many free resources to help you educate yourself and your staff.
You don’t need to be a computer whiz to start protecting your systems. Installing a firewall and anti-virus protection are great first steps. Promptly install security updates on your salon’s devices (computers, tablets, mobile phones, and POS devices) and set reminders to back up your business files regularly to help avoid data loss.
Finally, talk to a cybersecurity pro if your budget allows. They can provide more tips for staying cyber-safe and help you better secure your salon’s systems.
Cyber Liability insurance to the rescue!
But what if your salon is still attacked, despite your best efforts? That’s where Cyber Liability insurance* can help. It covers the financial fallout of a cyberattack, so you’re not left holding the bill.
A Cyber Liability policy covers many expenses associated with cyber incidents, from investigating how the breach happened to notifying affected customers. These policies also help cover business interruption costs, an often-overlooked part of cyberattacks. “Every moment you’re unable to book appointments or accept payment could mean losing money and clients,” says Jane.
However, the greatest value of Cyber Liability may be in their incident response services. Many business owners have no idea what to do when a cyberattack happens. By the time they consult an IT company, they’ve potentially lost time and money far beyond the cost of an insurance policy.
“Cyber Liability policies offer 24-hour incident response services that policyholders can call on for assistance. This immediate response can help reduce the impact of the attack and get you back to business as usual faster.”
Business Insurance in Action
Here’s an example of how Cyber Liability insurance helped a small business respond to a cyberattack:
A hairdresser’s VoIP telephone system was hacked, and the cybercriminal made $30,000 in unauthorised calls to a premium number in one month. Thankfully, the hairdresser had a Cyber Liability policy. They made a claim, and the insurer paid $30,000 to cover the salon’s financial loss.
A cyberattack might be dramatic, but Cyber Liability insurance can help you manage the impact one has on your salon. BizCover has helped over 8,500 salon owners† compare and buy small business insurance in minutes—no dramas!
Visit bizcover.com.au to compare quotes, or give us a call today.