Major cyber attacks and security breaches have made headlines in recent years, and cybersecurity is a growing concern worldwide. In 2020 alone, well-known companies and brands, such as Microsoft, Facebook, Nintendo, and even Twitter, were victims of user security and confidentiality breaches. You may think that insurance is only important for the real world and not the digital world. However, with our society connecting online now, more than ever, it’s important to recognize potential risks and have proper protocols in place to protect your customers, your employees and your organization. This includes having a cyber insurance policy to protect against the digital risks of the online world.

Here are some common scenarios of cybersecurity liabilities:

  • Your security system is hacked by an outside party and steals customer credit card information and employee social security numbers.
  • One of your employees loses a USB that contains confidential customer information that results in an investigation.
  • A customer whose privacy was breached due to a system(s) failure sues your company.
  • Your organization is under a cyber attack that releases a virus on all-user systems.
  • A company-wide system(s) outage results in financial losses and damages your organization’s reputation.

Who is vulnerable to a cyber attack?

Any organization that has an online presence is vulnerable to a cyber attack. This may include collecting customer information online, fundraising, or a corporate website that does not fully secure connection. Even social media can make you vulnerable to hackers.

According to PwC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2020, 47% of companies experienced fraud in the past 24 months. Furthermore, the global pandemic has created even more online vulnerability for companies.

You may think that only big banks and businesses are targets of cybercrime. This is not the case. Other sectors hit by cybercrime include communications, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, insurance, and government/state-owned entities.

What are the impacts of cybercrime?

Cybercrime causes big financial losses, damaged reputations, violates privacy, and often results in investment and enforcement costs.

IBM’s yearly Cost of a Data Breach report, conducted by the Ponemon Institute, a U.S-based independent research institute, found that data breaches’ financial impacts are increasing. Between 2019 and 2020, the cost of data breaches increased for most countries, including Canada, which experienced a slightly higher 6.7% surge. In Canada, 42% of these data breaches were caused by hackers. According to Ponemon, three distinct areas make data breaches so costly:

  1. The increasing number of cyber-attacks and costs to remediate the consequences.
  2. The consequences of lost business have a greater impact than the cost of the data breach. This cost component includes customers’ abnormal turnover, increased customer acquisition activities, reputation losses, and diminished goodwill.
  3. The increasing data breach costs associated with detection and escalation, such as forensic and investigative activities, assessment and audit services, etc.

Doesn’t my business/general liability policy cover potential cyber-attacks?

Typically, general liability and errors/omissions coverage exclude losses incurred because of the internet.

A cyber policy will fill in those gaps to cover internet-related losses, or at the very least, seriously defray the costs. The proper cyber insurance policy usually includes protocols and internal plans against the cyber risk that some companies might not already have in place.

Ways that a cyber insurance policy fills in these gaps

1. Information Property Protection

Cyber and Privacy Liability protect your organization when your customers claim that a cyber breach has caused them financial loss.

It also mitigates risks or losses resulting from a network security failure or attack that damages the system and covers the cost to repair if it’s expensive.

2. Privacy protection

One lost USB or laptop that contains client information has the potential to cause massive privacy breaches.

Privacy breaches occur when confidential customer information is compromised in some way. Privacy protection covers the expenses your organization incurs as a result of an actual or alleged security breach. It includes notifying third parties or employees, independent security audits of your computer system, etc.

It also covers when the security breach causes your client to have to notify other affected individuals.

3. Theft & Extortion Threats

A cyber insurance policy protects your organization when under direct threat or extortion.

These threats may include preventing access to your computer system, introducing a virus, revealing confidential information, or damage your brand or reputation by posting false or misleading comments about you on social media sites.

Coverage includes investigation and settlement of threats and reimbursing all reasonable sums incurred as a direct result of a specific threat.

4. Business Interruption Insurance

If your system malfunctions or is under attack, your company could take a financial hit, lose clients, or damage its brand.

This coverage is essential to protect your business when a system failure causes financial loss and/or loss of current or future clients. This is especially important for smaller businesses that may have a smaller client pool and not have adequate infrastructure in place.

5. Software & Data Integrity

If you are the target of a cyber attack, cover the cost of investigation, crisis management, and data restoration.

6. Multimedia Liability & Advertising Injury

This protects your company when defamation claims are made—i.e., libel, slander, trade libel, injurious falsehood, etc.—that cause emotional distress or outrage. It can also occur in copyright or trademark infringement cases, such as taking a picture from the internet or a Google search and reposting it without proper credit.

Whether you’re a start-up, big corporation, non-profit, or somewhere in between, cyber insurance is a must-have to protect your organization. Our experienced brokers at isure work with you to create tailor-made security and privacy liability coverage for potential damages and vulnerabilities specific to your operations.

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