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Cyber Attacks: Your Club Could Be At Risk

Posted On: November 16, 2015 by ClubProcure in: Clubhouse Food and Beverage Pro Shop

The holiday season is right around the corner, and just because country clubs are not a Black Friday shopping destination, it doesn't mean they don't have security risks. At this time in 2013, many of you might recall, Target was making headlines after their data systems were hacked. This hack resulted in the theft of 40 million credit and debit card records. `Tis the season for family, friends and safely secured data.

What might your club not know about cyber-attacks? What are some steps your club can take to make sure your membership is safe? Many officers and board members believe that by improving security systems and firewalls, they have taken every precautionary step a club can to avoid data breaches. Updated security systems and firewalls are vital, but a club has not truly exhausted their options until they equip their club with insurance. The availability and need for insurance to combat hackers is not the only misconception about data breaches. Read the list below to debunk myths your club may have about data security systems.

Rob Mulhern, Vice President of Preferred Club, and a recognized leading expert on club insurance issues, talks about cyber-attacks and the common misconceptions they carry.

Common Misconceptions

False: Cyber attackers only target large business. True: Verizon Wireless examined 855 data breaches for a 2012 Data Breach Investigation study. In this study, 71 percent of the data breaches occurred in businesses with less than 100 employees.

False: No hacker wants to target a golf course or country club. True: Take a second to think of the sheer volume of credit card swipes at your bars, restaurants, and pro shops. Those swipes, along with membership applications with social security numbers, driver's license information, birthdays, credit card numbers, employee and vendor data make golf clubs a hacker's paradise.

False: My club is only susceptible to hackers outside the facility. True: Cyber-attacks can also result from simple employee accidents. For instance, an employee, or officer, could lose a laptop containing club accounts. They can be the result of an intentional breach of data. Also, it is getting easier to build pocket sized devices that can steal credit card data after swiping them through the device.

False: As an Officer or Board member, I'm not at risk personally. True: You are. Club board members and officers are burdened with risk because of heightened regulation and an increased focus on corporate governance. Boards should take a proactive approach that includes embracing cyber liability risk management and insurance coverage.

What are some of the steps your club can take to make sure your membership information is safe? Because a loss of this data can cause your membership to lose trust in the club. This can affect both your reputation for future clients, and your bottom line as well.

Through your membership with VGM Club your club can receive robust insurance coverage from VGM Insurance for first party costs, third party liability, pre-breach risk management services and post-breach services to help manage an incident as it unfolds. Policies that VGM Insurance offers include the coverage of costs to notify members, prospective members and any others whose data may have been hacked. They also cover public relations costs to minimize harm to your club's reputation, and potentially expensive computer forensics costs to unravel how you were hacked and by whom.

Other coverage typically includes cyber business interruption, legal defense costs, government fines and remediation, cyber extortion and multimedia liability. VGM Insurance also offers risk management services that can prevent these attacks from happening in the first place. Since many clubs do not have an IT department, the use of outside consults can be a valuable tool to develop necessary firewalls.

If you would like to learn more or even have VGM Insurance take a look at your current policy, contact your VGM rep today.