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Cyber hygiene checklist: Tick these boxes to lower your cybersecurity risk and insurance costs

It used to be that only big corporations that kept large volumes of highly sensitive personal data needed to worry about cybersecurity. Not so today. In November 2021, the Canadian Centre for Cybersecurity reported that nearly a quarter of small businesses in Canada had experienced some kind of cybercrime since March 2020 — a number believed to be an underestimate. Small- and medium-sized enterprises also accounted for almost two-thirds of known Canadian “name and shame” ransomware victims in the first half of 2021.

The good news is that businesses of all sizes can take steps to reduce their cybersecurity risk using this 11-point cyber hygiene checklist. By identifying and eliminating vulnerabilities in your systems, policies and practices, you reassure your executives, customers, suppliers and your insurance company that you take cybersecurity seriously. And, while there may be a cost to some of the items on the checklist, it’s helpful to see this cost in context — the average data breach in Canada has a C$6.35 million price tag and cybercriminals often strike the same victim more than once.

Your cyber hygiene checklist

Review each of the items below. You should be able to respond to each item with a resounding “yes.” If not, now’s the time to take action – and we’re here to help.

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