There has been a 175% increase in cyber-attacks since, 2017.  Experts now predict it’s not IF you get hacked, it’s WHEN you get hacked. You can prepare your systems and operations, but it all takes is one minor mistake and your business could be shut down for days, weeks, or even months.

This type of business loss is typically excluded from the normal business insurance that you carry. Cyber Insurance is a separate form of coverage due to the complexities surrounding this type of loss.

Cyber insurance is insurance that covers the costs associated with a cyber-attack. Coverage typically includes data loss and system damage, business interruption, PR/crisis management, notification expenses, regulatory investigation expense, and content liability.

Cybercrime can cripple your business operations, compromise your hard-earned money, and compromise your data and/or the personal data of others. The result could leave you vulnerable to legal liabilities and reputational damage that can ultimately shut down your business.

The 5 most common occurrences are:

  • Malware
  • Viruses
  • Ransomware
  • Phishing
  • Password Hacking

To help you understand cyber insurance, here’s a basic breakdown of what potential losses your business can occur and how the coverages work:

  • First Party (your business losses); and
  • Third Party (other’s losses).

Between First Party and Third Party events, there is a wide range of types of losses and coverages.

While hacks against big corporations like Target get public attention. For example, in 2013, an HVAC company’s email system was hacked, sending an email to a Target employee who opened it up, captured a virus that stole Target’s customer’s financial data resulting in the largest data breach in an 18.5 million settlement.

The more prominent claims are against smaller businesses like a Car Dealership in Kansas which lost $23,000 when hackers broke into their network and swiped their bank account information.  The hacker added nine fake employees to the company payroll in less than 24 hours and paid them a total of $63,000.00 before the company caught on.    By the time the company realized what was going on, only some of the transfers could be canceled in time.   These are prime examples of what happens and it’s usually not after until some time when business owners become aware that something’s wrong and it’s been too long to try to recover from the cyber-attack.

As a business owner, you have most likely read best practices of how to properly secure your computer systems and manage your users; BUT, did you know that there are also best practices when it comes to managing your insurance to protect from hackers?

As a Commercial Insurance Coverage Specialist, my job is to analyze with you:

  • Your potential data losses – First and Third Party;
  • How much of a cyber financial loss you can afford to retain; and
  • Collaborate with cyber insurance professionals to decide what cyber insurance program would best fit your business needs.

Here are just a few business operation examples to consider that can put your business at risk:

  • Do you send or receive wire transfer payments?
  • Do you collect or store personally identifiable information like credit card numbers or health information?
  • Do you store business-critical information on your computer systems, such as client contracts, designs, plans, stock levels, or other corporate information?
  • Do any of your employees work remotely?
  • Are you confident that you or your employees will never make mistake?

Another extremely important question to ask about your business:  How long can your business operate without access to computer systems and the data they hold?  Cyber events can often take months to resolve, especially when you don’t have cyber professionals involved.

At Gannon Associates Insurance, we have packages for basic cyber insurance as low as $50.00 per year for small business owners.   For larger companies, we partner with insurance carriers that offer industry-specific cyber coverage packages that assess your vulnerabilities and types of operations. Together we can price out coverages a la carte via analyzing your website and systems management processes.

Gannon Associates partners with our clients to analyze and consult on your current business practices and then provide you with complimentary tools for best practices management to mitigate your potential losses.

As part of our specific cyber insurance consultation, our carriers can also assess your current websites and provide you with data on your dark web presence. We also provide best practices advice from our cyber professionals.

To conclude – here are a few more reasons to consider cyber Insurance:

  • Your business interruption (loss of income) may only be covered by cyber insurance AND/ IF your cyber insurance has this coverage included.
  • Third-Party data that you may possess can leave you legally liable if you lose it i.e. Retail Merchant Service Agreements; HIPPA; Trust Accounts etc.
  • Complying with breach notification laws could cost you additional time and money.
  • Your reputation is your number one asset, why not insure it – social media fraud, texting schemes, and email scams can be horrific to recover your reputation from.

Contact us by calling 844-GANNONS for a complimentary review of your current business insurance policy and to discuss your cyber insurance needs.

Written By:

Amanda Champion-Alexander
Amanda Champion-AlexanderCommercial Lines Coverage Specialist