It’s Time to Start Taking Cyber Liability Coverage Seriously By: Richard edwards
"When your computer systems are breached, your building doesn’t burn down. Your reputation, your relationships, your customer loyalty, your business continuity, your cash flow, your profitability – these are the valuables that go up in smoke.
What Is Cyber Liability Coverage? Cyber Liability coverage is an insurance product used to protect businesses and individuals from risks relating to information technology infrastructure and activities. Risks of this nature are typically excluded from traditional property and crime insurance policies. And like other forms of insurance the coverage terms, conditions and available limits differ greatly from carrier to carrier…not mention the lengthy applications some carriers require to offer a quote. The good news is there are a few carriers that offer meaningful coverage with a painless underwriting process.
Cybercrime Terms all Business Owners Should Know. The two most common cyber breaches take the form of either “Ransomware” or “Social Engineering.” Ransomware occurs when a criminal breaches your firewall, and gains access to your systems, and effectively locks you out. To gain access back to your files, systems, or even automated equipment, you are forced to pay a ransom, typically ranging from $5,000-25,000. In an effort to reduce costly downtime for your business, you would be faced with paying the ransom demand. The second and often more costly breach occurs by way of “Social Engineering.” Social Engineering occurs when a criminal will mimic the email of a senior executive, and request private information or funds to be sent to a seemingly trustworthy recipient. Information ranging from employee payroll data, bank accounts, social security numbers, health care information to customer credit card information can end up in the hands of criminals who use the information to commit criminal acts. Imagine inadvertently exposing your entire customer list. How many of your customers would be immediately looking for a new partner? Other types of Social Engineering include fraudulent requests for wire transfers to external accounts. Once the funds are out the door, they become nearly impossible to recoup. These types of attacks are not covered under a typical crime or property insurance policy and can be as costly and as catastrophic as your entire business burning to the ground.
How Can I Protect My Business? Just like you protect your business with basic fire protection, a solid firewall, encryption software, and data sensitivity procedures act as your Cyber Liability sprinkler system and fire extinguishers. With those in place, it’s time to review the liability coverage your company has in place. Here’s a quick checklist to get the conversation started within your organization:
Coverage Do I have cyber liability coverage in place today? Am I covered for the most common attacks including Ransomware and Social Engineering losses? Are my expenses covered to determine the source and cause of the data breach so my business can take corrective action? Am I covered for business interruption costs if a breach causes my operation to shut down temporarily? Do I have coverage for regulatory fines I incur? Do I have coverage for defense costs if we were sued due to exposing the sensitive information of our partners What % of our customers will we be able to retain if a major breach occurs? Procedures & Internal Protection When was the last time we updated our firewall technology? Does my company offer appropriate training procedures related to cybercrime and how to avoid inadvertently creating an opportunity for a breach? Do we have checks and balances in place to make sure that when funds or sensitive data are shared that the recipient is who we think he or she is? What is my legal duty to notify the State and the parties impacted by a breach?
Cyber-crime is as much a reality and a possibility as fire damage. Would you ever let your company be exposed to easily avoidable fire damage? Would you ever not have insurance against fire damage? The answer, of course, is no. If you’re interested in learning more about Cyber Liability coverage and how to properly protect your business, please contact us."
Author: Richard joins the Integrated Risk team with more than 10 years of account management experience in distribution and large national accounts, where he led nationwide sales and marketing efforts. He is dedicated to building long term strategic partnerships with our clients and providing them with the highest level of service.