Celebrating Cyber Security Awareness Month at Your Brewery

It’s that time of year: beer festivals are filling the calendar, pumpkin ales are filling the shelves, and we’re all turning our thoughts to cyber security.

After all, Beall Brewery Insurance points out, October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

But seriously, folks: cyber security is an issue of vital importance to all businesses—and that includes craft breweries.

Think about it: 77 percent of small businesses do not have a formal, written internet security policy for employees. Sixty percent have a privacy policy in place that employees must comply with when handling customer information. (But what about that other 40 percent?) Nearly 60 percent of small businesses do not require multi-factor authentication for access to their networks. Only half have their equipment completely wiped of data before disposal.

Breweries experience cyber risk exposure through their taproom point-of-sale, through their online business interactions with vendors and suppliers, even through their corporate emails, which could expose workers to phishing attempts or viruses.

Whatever your brewery’s cyber-security status, here are a few tips that can help you protect your own data—and your workers’ and customers’ data, too.

Cyber Security Tips for Craft Breweries

  • Install security software on your computer. Pay attention to the information it reports after inspecting your machine. Install updates to ensure your web browser and operating system are able to defend against the latest viruses, malware, and other online threats. And make sure your team is trained to do all this, too.
  • Use a good firewall.
  • Use spam filters on your email program. Stay informed about the latest phishing scams.
  • Never request your workers to send you personal information via email (social security number, birthdate, etc). Make sure they understand if they receive such a request from you or from an organization purporting to be the IRS, for instance, that they refer that email to someone within your organization and do not comply with the request.
  • Never download an attachment from an unknown source.
  • Talk with your insurance agent about your cyber liability insurance policy—and your business interruption insurance policy. Your goal, of course, is never to need to file a claim… but you have to ensure that your business is protected in case a claims situation arises.

For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has been helping corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as craft breweries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.