There is almost no business that can operate completely offline. With the digital world now well established and the need for e-commerce to be central to many companies, protecting yourself from cyber attacks is necessary. Online crime is a sophisticated and innovative system that can cause businesses distress. At LaRoche McDonald, we know how much you value security; this is why we are proud to offer cyber insurance to protect you and your business from the potentially devastating effects and loss of income from cybercrime. This blog will talk about the importance of adding cyber protection to your business insurance, key terms to understand for online security, and our expert advice for avoiding an online attack. 


Choose insurance that protects you from the fallout of cybercrime. 


In 2020, police-reported cybercrime increased dramatically since 2016, and 54% of Canadian companies experience a cyber-attack at least once per year. These numbers present a growing concern to business owners at all levels, whether you are a small-medium enterprise or a corporation.


For local Saskatoon businesses, Covid19 lockdowns presented the need to prioritize developing an online presence, creating eCommerce sites, or accommodating remote employees. With the increase in online activity, we recommend adding cyber protection to your insurance to avoid the expenses associated with data breaches, theft, or interruptions to sales due to a cyber attack. 


Insurance protection is available to businesses who need an added layer of cyber protection––which is anyone who uses the internet for any aspect of their business operations. Coverage types for online security breaches are generally broken into two categories, data breaches and cyber-attacks. 


What is a data breach, and how does your insurance help?

A data breach is where an intentional or unintentional theft has occurred, and confidential data such as contact information, credit card information, or patient records have been released. This personal information can be sensitive and is often held for ransom or sold for financial gain. A data breach is a serious liability for businesses, no matter how big or small. 


If you experience a data breach, you may be held liable for the information that was compromised; this can include legal ramifications as well as loss of trust in your business. You can claim some of the expenses associated with the complications of a data breach, making it easier to recover from this pernicious and all too common occurrence. 


Your cyber coverage can help you and your customers through the difficulty of a data breach by:


  • Providing coverage for moving through the legal process of alerting customers and authorities 
  • Credit flagging and case management to your affected customers
  • Assist with public relations 
  • Support the costs associated with potential legal action 


Cyber attacks can leave your business vulnerable to financial loss. 


A cyber attack is the intentional destruction of hardware or software. It can be costly to recover from, especially if your business relies on computers and programs to complete work. Cyber attack coverages will help you to pay for the costs of restoring your computers, networks, and recovering data. 


A cyber attack can be serious, but your insurance broker can help you prepare with coverage for: 


  • The associated costs of recovering data, loss of revenue, expenses associated with managing customers and public
  • The costs associated with legal defence and liability costs if there is damage to another business’s or client’s computer system due to insecure networks. 

Key online security terms for business owners. 


  • Malware

    This is any software designed to intentionally cause harm or gain private information from programs, hardware, servers, networks, or clients. It is used to obtain private data, gain unauthorized access to systems and networks, collect personal data, and interfere with user security and privacy. There are several kinds of malware, including:

    • Spyware
    • Ransomeware 
    • Remote access 
    • Trojan Horse 
    • Keylogger
    • Worm 
    • Virus
  • Two-factor Authentication

    This is a security feature adopted by many businesses, government organizations, and apps to provide an extra layer of security. There are several ways to use two-factor authentication, including an authenticator app, your phone number, or a secondary email to receive a code. Having two-factor authentication will help you to see who is trying to access your account, so you can change your password to prevent unwanted access.

  • Firewall

    An essential part of your online security, a firewall protects your network by monitoring and controlling network traffic. A firewall acts as a shield between your trusted network and an untrusted network (like the internet). You can set your firewall setting to best suit the needs of your business and it’s network.


  • SSL certificates for eCommerce

    SSL (secure socket layer) certificates allow data entered on a webpage to be encrypted to facilitate a secure connection and transaction. They are a layer of defence that protects your web pages from leaking confidential data from their open fields.

  • Encryption

    This is a method of securing online data by rendering it unreadable without the appropriate key. Encryption is easy and accessible to use. Encryption services are built into many of the programs we use daily.

  • Master password

    A master password can grant you access to your password keeper app, which is a great way to ensure your passwords are protected, and your login information is secure from hacking. It is much easier to remember one complex password than many; a password app will work to keep your data safe. 

Saskatoon's downtown business district in winter

Our top cyber security 10 tips for Saskatchewan businesses. 

To keep your business safe, we want to share our best practices for online safety. In an increasingly online world, your security is one of our top priorities. We’ve compiled our top tips for ensuring your business is safe from online phishing, malware, and hacking. 


  1. Always get your customer’s consent for their personal information for email marketing, patient records, or payment information.


  2. Ensure your data storage is secure and protected. Always keep a backup as well as hard copies when possible.


  3. Train your staff in the best practices for online security, password safety, and always change passwords every 3-6 months and immediately after staff leave.


  4. Understand and utilize encryption software for sensitive data.


  5. Safeguard client or patient information and securely remove outdated records.


  6. Utilize a password storage app such as LastPass, Dashlane, or Keeper to store complex passwords which are difficult to hack as a security measure for your business.


  7. Use two-factor authentication to monitor access to sensitive data and ensure privacy and security.


  8. Monitor and be selective about account access for your staff and other 3rd parties such as accountants.


  9. Always ensure SSL certificates are in place when you use a company credit card online and monitor your billing statement to confirm purchase history.


  10. Be aware of common phishing techniques in emails and over the phone –– never give sensitive information to a website you do not trust.


  11. Obtain a server host that provides a firewall for added security and peace of mind.

At LaRoche Mcdonald in Saskatoon, we care about the security of your business. 

Do you have concerns about your business’ online security and preparedness? Talk to us today about adding cyber coverage to your commercial insurance policy. We are insurance over-explainers who will tell you everything you need to know about the coverage you choose. Let’s work together to prepare your business for a digital landscape.