With the reading week / winter break underway. There is nothing better than kicking your feet up and reading a blog about cyber coverage. Am I right? (I know I am). Well let’s begin.
What are the risks?
With business becoming more and more prevalent on the internet. We are exposing ourselves online, by giving personal information to the general public. Whether it is through social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn), through emails or through website data collection. Businesses are needing to do most of their collection through online portals to compete with other online companies. Therefore, with this data, it is possible for hackers and other con-artist enthusiasts, to access your data and start on their process to leverage it against you.
Some malware through spam emails or other pop-up websites, lock down your computer and charge you a “ransom” for you to access your data again. This “ransomware” can cost a lot of money, and if that data is valuable, you may have to pay it to obtain it. There is very little you can do once this ransomware locks your computer. Talk to your IT guy to see what you can do to prevent this, otherwise, the data may be lost.
Other exposures are through the methods of identity theft and credit card fraud. There are so many ways people can do this, that it is almost impossible to prevent it. If you have any suspicions whatsoever, close your browser or email and go directly to the source to see if the “phishing expedition” is actually legit or not. Anytime people ask you to re-confirm your identification or your credit card, you should have your guard up. If you don’t filter through these types of requests, it can end up costing you a ton of money to recapture your identity and prove that you are who you say you are. This maybe sounds easy, but through people’s past experiences that we have seen firsthand, you are pretty much guilty until proven innocent and the process is grueling.
How can I protect myself?
These examples are a very small sample of what is possible online, and the methods people use to hack into your online world. We can’t prevent everything. As fast as we learn about it, someone is hacking a different way. However, we can protect ourselves from the loss that occurs when someone does attack you. Cyber coverage is available with almost every insurance company. Through your personal home, farm or business policies, you can purchase cyber coverage to protect your personal identity and data as well as the information stored by your commercial business. A data breach could strongly affect your business, by attacking the stored customer information on file. There are many implications to this, including: costs to reach out to your clients to inform them of the breach, the costs to recover the data or pay the ransom along with all the public relations costs that will occur, due to the breach. It is one thing when the data breach results in the loss of your information, it is a completely different ballgame when they steal customers information under your care and control.
What does this data and cyber coverage actually insure me for?
Every company has different variations of this coverage; these are the highlights:
- Costs of recovering from the computer attack, such as: recovery of data, repair of systems, loss of business and public relations expense.
- Protection in the event of a third party suit or claim from policyholders first party triggering event.
- Forensic IT and legal consultation expenses
- Expenses related to notifying affected individuals and regulatory authorities
- Fraud alert and case management services to affected individuals
- Costs to recover data and restore systems
- Payments and assistance in responding to Cyber Extortion
- Covers online fraud that results in direct financial loss
With this online world, there are so many opportunities to grow your business and stay globally connected. However, with that ability to connect with others, it gives online criminals the ability to take information out of your “back pocket” without you knowing. Give us a call if you want to learn more or have this coverage added to your policy. Make sure you are doing your part to protect yourself, your family and your customers.