Bryson Blog

Cyber Threats: an article by Linda Colgan

Prof Linda

Almost daily it is possible to read something on hackers penetrating personal and commercial businesses to gain access to information that benefits the avails of crime.  No one is above being vulnerable.  It’s not only bank accounts or credit cards these criminals want, its identity as well.   The evidence is clear cyber threats are here and it’s not only through hacking of internet waves that one can be exposed – it can be simply through human error.

We all remember the identity theft that Target suffered late 2013 with 70 million customer’s personal financial information being exposed to the hands of hackers.  Truly a fearful act.  Another Russian

crime ring known to a security firm in the US has storage of 1.2 billion user names and password combinations and according to the article in the New York Times in August of this year, more than 500 million email addresses as well. In the same article it reveals that a theft service in Vietnam secured 200 million personal records including social security numbers.  These numbers are alarming to say the least.

Ever think about the convenience of downloading information onto a USB stick – willfully holding a mass of information for the purpose of being able to have access through another computer at home, for storage or even for use at work for presentations?  As much as we may not think that the information is important but what would happen if the portable device was stolen?  Information on that device that could expose a company to financial loss, vulnerable to business interruption and easily destroy a company’s reputation.

Personal information, company information, contracts and other information that falls into the wrong hands can have devastating effects.  Cyber insurance is one of the most recent developments in the insurance marketplace.  With the recognition of the cyber exposures more companies are introducing endorsements to limit the exposure in this arena under commercial general liability policies. Cyber insurance coverage is evolving year to year recognizing loss of intellectual property, extortion, online media, data privacy and some insurers are extending coverage for business interruption losses.  As the claims occur the insurance coverages are becoming more detailed.  Cyber insurance is on the rise and should be considered not only for large businesses but smaller ones as well.  Smaller companies may not have the funds to invest in cyber security therefore providing easier access to information that benefits thieves.

As well as investigating cyber insurance as an integral part of risk management purchases, internal corporate policies should also reflecthow the companies are going to govern cyber threats.  Speak to your Broker about the cyber insurance, the education needs to begin now.

Linda Colgan has been an Insurance Broker in the transportation industry since 1986 and is Senior Account Executive with Bryson & Associates Insurance Brokers Ltd.   To contact Linda call at 416-809-3103 or feel free to email Linda at lcolgan@brysoninsurance.ca