Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Cyber Extortion & Business Interruption - a cyber security insurance coverage explained!

Cyber Security Risk

The digital era continues to grow at the speed of light! What sounds like a luxury decades ago is now a necessity in our lives both personal and professional. 
Business Interruption that is caused by cyber attack or data breach may not be covered under your standard business general liability or business owners policy.
Be sure to have your agent verify if the coverage exist should your company face a cyber crime.  Be certain that the coverage and limits presented are suffice for possible attack based on your industry. 
Cyber Extortion coverage is available via cyber liability insurance! 
Visit for a FREE insurance quote!Don't wait... mitigate!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Internet sees business increase ~ Companies need cyber security & data breach insurance!

During the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more businesses are offering services over the internet. Sharmeen Rehman discusses the growing demand for cybersecurity with Terry Bennett, and how it is critical to protect your company with cyber insurance. #cybersecurity #businesstips #businessowner
Secure your business & mitigate your risks with us! to learn about all of our business insurance solutions offered. 
Visit for instant cyber quote online!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Increased PHISHING scams over smartphone, even more during COVID19

Need I say more? Pizza anyone?

A perfect example of what an innocent 'human error' looks like.  Nothing wrong to click on this link here, is it?  We get texts and messages from our favorite companies all the time and many times we even enjoy those deals.  


Could we even go back and think how many times we may have clicked on a link that's so enticing to us without even knowing that our phones or computers maybe getting hacked.  If there was an error from the link, you might close the browser, say 'oh well' and move on.

We can easily get hacked by clicking on a link or responding to a text!  

  • Clicking on a link is a cyber attack specifically called phishing attack. Hackers will either steal your information off your phone or install a malware to infect your phone and you'll be faced with data breach of your information.  
  • Responding to a text can easily install Malware to your phone and if your phone is connected to your computer - well, you know how the rest of the story goes...  
Do not respond to unsolicited or suspicious texts and emails and avoid clicking on links, even if you are curious.  These cyber attacks can be harmful and damaging, even to individuals.  Hackers have no mercy for anyone, even during COVID19!  Report them as spam in your messaging/email app and you can also report them to FTC complaints.  On your smartphones, try to block unknown senders.  Many phone services now offer that feature.  If any bogus message did come thru, go ahead and don't be shy to add them to YOUR blocked list.  

In this example, we would sincerely consider this text originated from or truly belong to Pizza Hut and may even be interested in the deal.  Before doing any clicking/replying, just go to the company website or call them to ensure that this in fact is a promotion they are offering.  WHEN in DOUBT, always better to be safe than sorry.  

Cyber security is our top priority.  Hackers are using any means possible during COVID19 and taking advantage of this time towards businesses and individuals.  EVERYONE can be a victim of cyber crime.  Phishing and Malware are very common practices for a hacker to use via phones and emails.  

Be vigilant.  Be mindful.  Use technology with care and respect.  

Sunday, April 19, 2020

COVID19 Scams keep coming! No mercy from the hackers ~ their business is thriving

CNBC just shared an article mid last week that overall Americans have lost over $13m in fraud cases linked to COVID19.   This does not reflect 2019 but just from the beginning of 2020, says FTC. Keep the fact in mind that these are just the reported numbers!  Hackers are at no mercy when it comes to amping up their business due to fraud at this unprecedented times.  According to the article, many frauds belong to travel industry, online shopping, bogus text messages and imposter scams as we all shift to our new normal and find ways to cope with novice virus and be able to depend on internet to provide us the convenience of home deliveries and online accessibility.

Scammers are thriving with scams like online websites promising delivery of trusted cleaning products and masks which obviously is not arriving.  Hackers are also banking on reimbursement for canceled travel plans.

Beside the online hacking and bogus scamming, scammers are also trying to steal the stimulus check that is being sent to Americans.  IRS is spotting bogus cures & treatments as scammers are hard at work via creating bogus texts, emails, calls from a 'government agency' promising to get your stimulus money out.

There's no stopping hackers and these are just the top few frauds that's being reported due to COVID19.  So far, there's been over $430m in fraud reported to FTC through the end of March.  It is imperative that global citizens are not only aware but vigilant of these active frauds.  The fraud acts upon your vulnerability, whether is from personal lives and actions or business.  60% of small businesses face 'out of business' after cyber attack but these statistics do not speak of our current 'new normal'.

Any business owner - big or small - with any sort of online presence ought to put security measurement in place along with risk mitigation plan so if after all that could have been done to tighten up the security posture, there's a mitigation plan to offset the cost of what is OUT of your control.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

OPEN FOR BUSINESS - simple checklist!

As you begin to experience being creative and flexible, thinking out of the box could sometime mean being your own boss!  When your a-ha moments begin to paint a picture of you being your own boss, you'll need to follow few simple steps for your idea to get into a shape of real existence.  

Regardless of the industry your venture belongs to, some common steps follow in all the states. Along with your basic checklist, you will also look into your state & industry specific requirements.  

Please do consult with your financial advisor or lawyer for the mandates to open a business in USA you follow the basic steps to get you started on the track!

  • Business Plan - It is so critical for any entrepreneur or a startup opening up a business to have at least a vague idea of how it is going to go for the first few years, write it down and you have your business plan, even if they are filled with assumption or if/then scenarios.  Of course, you might need to draw some financial projections etc. as well but nothing too complicated-just so you have a snap shot in your mind of what it would look like and how it would flow. 
  • Business Name - A business journey begins with a name representing the idea. There are several ways to go about naming your business. You could brainstorm names that fits your business idea, ask for feedback from family & friends, or you might consult with a professional. In any case, as you are beginning to filter some names,  check for web domain availability before you legally register the name.  
  • Legal Structure - Once you've chosen to move forward with a name and got the domain registered for your company, you will need to have the legal structure in place to make it official.  What type of business entity is your preference?  It could be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company or a corporation, each have a different registration format.  You can contact your CPA or certified advisor to discuss which is best option for your business.  Visit your Secretary of State website to get started on the registration.
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) - The next step is obtaining your federal employer identification number from the IRS. An FEIN number is necessary to open a commercial bank account and do tax filings.  Visit to get started.
  • Commercial Bank Account - Choose a bank that's supportive and reliable. Whether your needs are simple (a separate business checking account just for your business to handle operations, expenses, payroll, etc.) or complex (a line of credit), finding the bank that fits your business' needs is crucial. Take time in looking through some banks that offer great commercial banking features and offerings such as, various bank fees waived, free overdraft protection options, business credit card options, etc. 
  • Finding a Workspace - Depending on the nature of your business you might need to lease a workspace. It could be home based or you might need to find an office space or retail, perhaps even a warehouse etc. If business plan entails growth overtime, start with the smallest and most efficient option that's feasible for the business at the time of the launch.  
  • Licenses and Permits - Next step is obtaining all the necessary licenses and permits. Again, depending on the type of business, the licenses you need might vary i.e. some businesses require having a federal license other need a state license. If you’re selling a product you might also need a sales tax permit. Feel free to consult with your legal advisor and be sure that you do not lack any of these regulated mandates and requirements.  
  • Recruiting Employees - If your business needs professional help, you might need to hire part time or full time employees.   Or you may consider bringing on board independent contractors as you need help with different functions of your business.  
  • Accounting and Record Keeping - It is a legal requirement that all companies must maintain all tax reports and corporate filings for the past three years so in order to do that you’ll need to set up an accounting and record-keeping system.   If you already have a CPA you trust or would like to have an expert handle these accounting needs, you can connect with accounting firms that offer commercial services. 
  • Business Insurance - Every business needs insurance since they need to cover a variety of financial risks - from product & system liability to company vehicles etc. Depending upon your business, you may either need Business Owner's Policy (BOP) or commercial general liability (CGL) for physical property and/or liability.  You'll also need workers' compensation if you have employees. In general, property insurance covers damages to your business property; liability insurance cover damages to third parties; and workers' compensation insurance covers on-the-job injuries to your employees. Businesses that are service oriented will also need professional liability insurance or Errors & Omissions (E&O) to mitigate liability risks.  Cyber Insurance is also now integral part of any business' insurance portfolio to ensure coverages for cyber attacks that are not covered by GL or E&O policy.  
  • Branding and Marketing - The brand awareness begins with getting the word out and in a technological world like ours, building a solid digital profile is imperative to any business existence and growth.  This means building a great website, having presence along all social media platforms, utilizing the SEO so it communicates well with the search engines as your prospects search for products & services. You’ll also need to consider all sorts of marketing material including business cards, search engine marketing, etc.  

These are just a few steps to get you started on the thought process of what all it entails to turn your idea into reality!  Every second that you work on your business is very much essential as you move on to the next step.  Enjoy the journey in EVERY moment as you start your business, open your door for business, profitability in your business, to maybe even passing on your legacy!  

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Think COVID19-Think things differently!

As we adjust to our new normal, whether it's temporarily new or just ever changing 'newer' normal when COVID begins to get under control, we are all adjusting and being creative.  We are showing resiliency as well as patience and the courage to face the challenge and be flexible!  We are going to come out of this stronger, globally!
As companies begin to adjust and fix to the new normal, we are all being inventive in our own ways.  New wave of doing business digitally is on the rise, regardless of what business industry we belong to.

BlackFire Cyber Insurance is also adjusting to the new normal and we want our clients to know that we are STILL here for them and even for our prospects as they are going to need more assistance than ever in this cyber-risk filled space.  Cyber security is our top priority and we want to be available 24/7 to assist and serve.  

To make it easy to get cyber security insurance quote, we have put together a page to get instant cyber quote online without stepping out of the house, calling anyone or submitting any application.  This tool is available for convenience without any obligation so companies are well-informed as they look for cyber insurance coverage.

Click 'Cyber Quote Online' to get your cyber insurance quote estimate from so many different cyber insurance companies - all at once - in less than a few minutes! 

Stay safe, be well! 

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Why EVERY business NEEDS cyber security insurance!

Why EVERY business NEEDS cyber security insurance!

Unless you block EVERY hacker a 100% at ALL times, you need CYBER LIABILITY INSURANCE to mitigate your financial risks should you face cyber crime.  

Cyber insurance is like any other type of business liability insurance; it is specifically designed to help your business recover after you and your business experience a damaging cyber attack and/or a data breach.

Cyber liability insurance covers the legal and technological aspects of data breaches & cyber attacks.  It covers first-party risks, which are the direct expenses the business incurs reacting to a cyber attack.  It also goes further and covers third-party risks which can cover expenses for businesses responsible for clients' online security and data.

When you add a cyber insurance policy to your portfolio, you are ultimately getting access to technical resources in case the worst happens. A good cyber policy has best practices in place, protocols to follow and reacts immediately to a cyber event, providing instant access to IT security experts, forensic investigators, lawyers and crisis communications specialists who will help you manage the situation and get back online as quickly as possible.

Visit to get instant cyber quote online without filling out any application at your convenience :)

Happy Cyber-connecting! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Is Cyber Insurance needed for Your Small Business?

If your company uses technology, humans, collects sensitive data OR process payment information, data breach and data privacy insurance is a MUST HAVE for your business.  Commercial or E&O policies usually exclude damages arising out of losses of electronic data because cyberattack often isn’t considered physical damage. If you don’t have cyber insurance or have questions about your existing commercial policy, reach out to your insurance agent to review your current policy coverage for you!

Ready for cyber and data liability insurance? Many agents partner with insurtech companies that utilize the most robust, solution geared, comprehensive and broad cyber insurance to prevent business interruption & reputational harm along with other data coverages.  As an added bonus, many insurance carriers also help businesses navigate risk across their technology stacked with continuous vulnerability monitoring. 

Visit “” for your free, instant, no-obligation cyber & data breach liability insurance quote estimate and coverage options. 

Don’t delay, get your cyber insurance estimates today! 

Don’t wait...mitigate :) 

Monday, April 6, 2020

Cyber Insurance in a nutshell

Cyber insurance is like any other type of business liability insurance; it is specifically designed to help your business recover after you and your business experience a damaging cyber attack and/or a data breach.

Cyber insurance protects from a data breach, it can cover website media, cyber extortion, digital property replacement, cyber crime, business interruption, privacy liability and network security liability. Cyber insurance helps secure the trust of your customers by covering the PR costs related to that peril you are covered for!  It can also cover the loss of future sales that arise as a direct result of customer loss to your competitor.  Cyber insurance covers your first and third-party risks. 'First-party risks' refers to the policyholder's losses and 'third-party risks' refers to the costs and losses associated with any litigious claims veiled upon you by your customers or other third parties.

While you may have business liability insurance, you more likely than not, do not have cyber insurance. As of right now, standard general & professional liability insurance policies lack provisions for cyber even though most, if not all, business today is done online. General liability (GL) policies lack the flexibility to address new and emerging cyber perils.
All businesses rely on systems to conduct their business regardless of the industry. Systems are very critical for day to day operations but their downtime is not covered by standard business interruption insurance. Following a cyber attack, as it brings down the system, cyber liability insurance will be necessary to cover the costs associated with the attack. Cyber insurance can also provide loss profit coverages associated with a systems outage such as computer virus or denial of service attack.  Traditional CGL or BOP may not cover this peril that is “non-physical”

Just like we need home/car/business insurance, we should not look away from accepting that in this digital world - we ought to protect ourselves, business & personal - from cyber threats.  We don’t doubt for a minute to get BOP or any other insurance policies to mitigate our risks - as individuals and business owners & entrepreneurs, why would we hesitate to get cyber insurance? 

Don’t wait…mitigate!

What is RISK in business?

We often talk about risk of cyber security or breach of our data. But what is risk in business? Let's look at the definition of what R...