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It's National Cyber Security Awareness Month: Survey Shines Bright Light On Cyber Risk Preparedness

Though 65 percent of small businesses report that the Internet is critical to their success 1, one quarter of women business owners polled 2 during National Cyber Security Awareness Month still feel uncertain about their level of protection from cyber risks, according to new data released today by The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV).

“Considering 40 percent of cyber attacks are against organizations with fewer than 500 employees 3, it is imperative that we help small business owners understand cyber risks,” said Marc Schmittlein, President and CEO of Small Commercial at Travelers. “As one of the nation’s largest insurers, we feel an obligation to help entrepreneurs prepare for and prevent cyber and other insurable risks as well as to recommend solutions to this important group of job creators and economic contributors.”

According to data collected at the National Association of Women Business Owners’ (NAWBO) conference, the nation’s largest annual gathering of female business owners, 42 percent are not very confident that they have adequate insurance coverage to protect against other insurable risks, and more than 50 percent don’t have or don’t know if they have a written business continuity plan or disaster recovery document.

“The number of women-owned companies with 100 or more employees has increased at nearly twice the growth rate of all other companies 4,” said Diane Tomb, President and CEO of NAWBO. “With the help of risk experts like Travelers, we are working to arm our members with the tools and resources they need to manage common business risks like cyber security so that as their businesses grow, their exposure to cyber crime does not.”

The questionnaire also gauged the sentiments of women entrepreneurs on the economic outlook. Of those polled, most felt optimistic about the future:

  • 91 percent expressed that they are either somewhat or very confident that the business environment will improve over the next year. 52 percent are very confident and 39 percent are somewhat confident.
  • 71 percent said they are somewhat or very likely to hire new employees in the next year.

At NAWBO, Travelers served as a primary event sponsor as well as participated in a breakout session to help offer solutions to protect small businesses. During the discussion, Travelers Vice President Lana Crowder encouraged the audience to work with local agents and brokers to identify business continuity and disaster preparedness plans.

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