Cyber Protection Insurance
While the adoption of the Internet has created amazing gains in communications and productivity, by now most business people are aware that it has also brought new liabilities. The digital age of global interconnectedness brings opportunities that could previously only be imagined, but these newly realised strengths can also be the source of potentially disastrous vulnerabilities. We’ve seen plenty of examples of even the biggest names in the IT industry themselves fall prey to cyber criminals, showing that even the highest levels of technical expertise are not 100% safe.
To help meet the challenge of cyber crime in the 21st Century, the insurance industry now offers cyber protection insurance so that businesses can take advantage of the benefits of the Internet without fear that it will be the cause of their ultimate ruin.
The Rise of Cyber-Crime
Since Internet technology emerged from the obscurity of government defence and university departments into the commercial world, the innovation unleashed was extraordinary and breath-taking. Few people if anyone could envisage where it would take us, and no one can really predict where it will go from here.
From the very beginning however, there has been a dark-side to the technology; the proliferation of what is known as cyber-crime. In the same time that online entrepreneurs have been innovating and changing how the world does business, so has the cunningness and sophistication of criminals, who can be orchestrating their nefarious activities anonymously from anywhere in the world.
While violent crime across the developed world has been generally in decline, cyber-crime has been steadily increasing. The incentives are easy to understand when perpetrating crimes in the physical space poses enormous risks of detection and capture when compared to online criminal activity with potentially far greater rewards.
Common Cyber Threats to Business
The threats to business from cyber-crime can come from anywhere in the world, either from individuals or highly organised groups made of people from various locations.
Here is a short list of common cyber-threats:
- Possibly the most prolific threat to businesses from online are so-called computer viruses and worms that can infected networks and computers connected to them that can reap havoc and render then inoperable.
- Breach of confidential databases containing personally identifying information that can be used for identity theft.
- Once a business's networks have been compromised, cyber-criminals often use this as an opportunity for cyber-extortion, demanding payment in return for restoring the network to normal operation. This type of crime has recently seen a dramatic increase due to the rise of ransomware.
- DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks use scripts that allow criminals to remotely control up to thousands of computers at a time, collectively called a botnet to simultaneously send data to a target network to overwhelm it, rendering it inoperable. While the effects are usually temporary, this can cause a significant loss of business in online trade.
The Costs of Cyber Threats
The estimated cost of cybercrime worldwide exceeded $600 billion USD in 2017. According to McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
These costs can include:
- Data restoration
- Ransomware and cyber-theft costs
- Costs of forensic consultants
- Business disruption
- Fines, penalties & defence costs
Cyber Protection Policy to Mitigate Threats
A Cyber Protection policy will provide you with comprehensive cover to help you overcome potential cyber-attack and data breaches that you will inevitably face. Taking preventative measures to the extent that is possible makes sense and can help in the defence of your business, but no network is impenetrable, so it is vital to limit your liability from cyber threats.
If the above doesn’t get your attention, the following might, as from Feb 22, 2018 businesses are obligated to comply with the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme, which imposes a set of specific requirements on you in the event personal information is compromised.
This can include very substantial fines You can face fines up to $1.8m for organisations and up to $360k for individuals if you fail to comply.