Cybercrime—a steadily rising threat
Whether you are a large organization, or a small- or medium-sized business, cybercriminals—with fingertips perched atop their keyboards—are poised to hack into your data with malicious intent. Mainstream as it now is, the Internet can be a dangerous realm in which to conduct business, and data breaches, such as phishing, botnets performing Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, ransomware, and other cybercrimes, are steadily rising, threatening businesses and other organizations that don’t take IT security sufficiently seriously.
Your data and computer systems are vulnerable. It is vital that you assume this when assessing IT security at your organization. Make no question about it: cyberattacks can wreak havoc on your organization, compromising confidential data and intellectual property, and possibly your reputation, clients/customers and employees. This CBC News article on cyberattacks at hospitals and clinics in Canada outlines the cybercrime threat in the medical field in our country, the ramifications of which are profound for all of us. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are getting smarter, and more malicious.
Cyber Insurance—A No-Brainer
No matter how large your organization, or what your field of activity is, one way to mitigate the impact of cybercrime is to purchase cyber insurance. Organizations protect against the loss of many other valuable assets so why not online data as well? Many organizations concur, which is why cyber insurance is a burgeoning, multi-billion-dollar business.
A sub-category of general insurance, cyber insurance provides coverage against the potentially devastating impacts of cybercrimes. Typically, coverage is two-tiered: first-party and third-party. First-party coverage pertains to direct losses to an organization or individual. Third-party coverage provides protection from claims and legal action initiated by customers or partners. Naturally, coverage offerings vary among providers, but common coverage areas include:
- Data breaches
- Restore after Ransomware
- Personal data theft
- Reputation mitigation
Legal fees, fines, and costs associated with recovering compromised data, repairing systems, restoring the personal identities of affected customers, and notifying customers of breaches can be significant. Coverage may also apply to situations like business interruption, extortion, or forensic investigation—the costs accrued through uncovering the cause and impact of an attack. The central concept of cyber insurance is to help you recover from a data breach or identity theft by covering costs generated in the response.
Getting the Best Premium Rates
Insurance companies that offer cyber insurance expect your organization to do its part to safeguard your data and computer systems when applying for coverage. Expectations include:
- Installing antivirus software on all devices—an essential line of protection
- Implementing password change policies to enhance network security
- Deploying next-generation firewalls with active threat protection subscriptions
- Encrypting data at rest on servers
- Using automated software patching schedules to apply critical security patches within 30 days
- Doing off-site backups, tested annually, to limit the effects of hardware failure or ransomware data corruption
- Conducting network penetration tests (a bonus)
By implementing a solid layer of basic IT security such as the JFx Security package, you can significantly reduce your cyber insurance or business interruption policy premiums. It is wise to remember that an Insurance policy can pay out money to offset your financial damages up to the policy coverage limit, but this does not mean you can drop your guard. You may not know the full cost of damaged reputation if a data breach occurs, and security experts may not be able to restore all the data unless you have a solid backup strategy.
Contact us to talk about how to best protect your organization from the devastating impacts of cybercrime.