January 11

Cyber Security Is Still A Top Business Concern For 2019


A short while ago we were hosting a roundtable at a conference with many bright entrepreneurs and business owners and I posed a question asking what they would do if they were hacked and all their information was held ransom for extortion. And based on the responses we received, it’s quite alarming how so many businesses still haven’t thought about this risk management.

Consider the role the Left Tackle plays in football by protecting the Quarterback’s blindside. Teams invest heavily in this position because they need to protect the areas that are susceptible to an attack.

Now think of your business as the quarterback; always looking down field and continuously pushing forward – but having that down-field vision means that you need help covering vulnerable areas on the front lines.

Cyber security insurance helps protect your blind side, and is vitally important now more than ever.

“It would never happen to me – I don’t have any customer data that could people would be interested in.”

This is one of the biggest things I hear, and it’s just simply not the case. Businesses get exposed to privacy breaches by giving up their intellectual property or having their data misused all the time. And you don’t have to be in financial services sector to have confidential information, because your own books of business are actually of value. Compromising personal information is a vulnerable area of attack, and can be in the form of:

  • Names and contact information,
  • How people pay,
  • What they’ve purchased,
  • Payment information,
  • Children’s information.

According to McAfee, the damages associated with cybercrime now stands at over $400 billion, up from $250 billion two years ago, showing that there is a significant spike in more sophisticated hacking.

While this might seem overwhelming and scary, not doing anything is not an option in today’s climate.

Here’s how we recommend to start, and why it will change the way you view cyber security.

Just start by going through the process of obtaining a quote

When you go through the process of buying insurance or simply obtaining a quote, it shows you all of the types of claims that could happen to your business, areas of vulnerability, the serious types of losses you can sustain and how these breaches happen in the first place.

“Simply going through the process to learn more about cyber insurance can help owners think about how they would govern themselves, who they would call, who could they depend on, and all the resources they would need.”

And all the variables that can happen through that process that you might not know the different levels of insurance that are available to help you through it. The biggest thing about buying cyber insurance is having access to professionals that specialize in cyber and in losses, because the insurance company has specialized suppliers and vendors that can assist through this.  

So you don’t have to see it all the way through, but just starting the conversation will get the wheels turning about your exposure and what you can do to protect your business.

Businesses can learn from other businesses

It’s a great educator by hearing examples and learning from other businesses and what they’ve been through.

Working with a broker can provide claims examples to help with putting security protocols down and train the staff to help them understand what fake emails look like and how these cyber claims start in the first place. Understanding areas, such as:

  • Leaving a laptop open in a coffee shop,
  • Unsecure networks,
  • Phishing emails,
  • Sending emails to the wrong recipients.
  • Malicious malware,
  • Penetrative hacks,
  • Botnets
  • And what spam looks like.

The internet-of-things changes everything which how constantly connected we are and how moving devices add numerous security risks. Employee error is a huge area that results in cyber-attacks or hacks.

Are you prepared if you have to shut down indefinitely and unexpectedly?

We’ve come full circle asking the same question that was posed at our roundtable.

What if your computers and business were shut down and you didn’t have access to customer data? What if you were held liable for the lost information? What if you start to lose customers and business because of a breach? What if you are on the hook for the losses sustained?

The sad truth is that much like the answers I received at our roundtable discussion, there are so many owners of businesses big and small that cannot begin to answer those questions.

Get started with a broker

Not only does cyber insurance provide you with access to risk management tools and advice from professionals in the data security community, you can be covered for your losses, plus any liability with lawsuits that may come from third parties.

While there certainly will be different types of risk; for instance, a donut shop doesn’t have the same exposure as someone in the financial services industry, the value of having a broker who really does understand how cyber insurance works, is contracted with the top insurance companies and can help buy the best products on the market provides incredible peace of mind.

Businesses from Bay Street to Main Street need to be aware of these risks – because they aren’t going away anytime soon.

Let’s start the conversation and together to make sure you are protected for 2019.  


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