Dominique Sanfacon, LL.B., CIP, CRM

Is Your Business Safe from Cyber Attacks?

Discover cyber risk coverage.

Technology is rapidly evolving, and while most technological advances make our lives easier, some do the opposite. Every week, a new article, cyber attack or study highlights the increasingly pervasive issue of cyber security. Any person or company that uses a computer, management system, website or smartphone is at risk… in short, almost everyone! What’s more, the damage from a cyber attack is more extensive than you might think. Find out just how prevalent cyber risk is and how to protect your business.

First, keep in mind that cyber risk can take many forms. These include:

  • A data breach
  • A network intrusion
  • A programmed interruption of network services
  • Extortion or ransomware
  • Social engineering fraud

Not only does an attack affect your business’s data, it also impacts that of your customers, employees and suppliers. The consequences of this type of event can also be severe (fines, defence costs, etc.).

A challenge to manage

Since technology is constantly evolving, managing this risk is no easy feat for experts. In insurance, there is no standard coverage offered by insurers, which means that it’s important to read the wording of each policy carefully. Additionally, given how recent this phenomenon is, the exact coverage offered is often unclear, since the average person’s knowledge of computer jargon is generally limited (or at least not as thorough as the head of an IT department when it comes to system vulnerabilities!). Cyber attacks are also becoming more severe as well as more frequent, with equally serious consequences.

A widespread risk, and yet…

When it comes down to it, at-risk individuals and businesses account for virtually the entire population of industrialized countries. However, 77% of small businesses don’t have cyber risk insurance, according to a Canadian survey conducted by TruShield. Furthermore, 33% of these companies don’t back up their data, despite how useful these backups could be in the event of an attack, system outage or failure. It’s recommended that you back up your data daily or weekly and conduct testing every three months to make absolutely sure that your data can be restored if it’s lost.

A question of protection

In the face of all these threats, how can you protect yourself through your insurer? First, it’s crucial to ensure your broker has a good knowledge of your business and its operations so they can identify weak points and offer you the best coverage. Based on your needs, your broker will contact an insurer, who will be able to offer you a full range of coverage. This coverage will come in handy in the event of an attack, whether due to internal human error or an external attack.

The following types of coverage may be available:

  • Direct damage to equipment (due to a power surge, for example)
  • Civil liability damages resulting from data theft (libel, identity theft, theft of patents or trade secrets)
  • Costs incurred by your business to protect third parties whose data has been stolen (hence the importance of the requested coverage limit in this section)
  • Business interruptions following an attack, which could lead to a complete shutdown — and a loss of income
  • The cost of recovering digital assets
  • Ransom payments after a ransomware attack

As this article has shown, everyone is vulnerable to cyber attacks. Luckily, cyber risk premiums are still accessible.

To make sense of all these options, don’t hesitate to contact a Lareau broker to assess your needs. Remember: cyber risk is as vast as the Internet itself. With each type of security software comes a new software program to tamper with it. That’s why it’s important to be vigilant and make sure you’re ready for any scenario!

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Dominique Sanfacon, LL.B., CIP, CRM Claims VP and Associate Partner
Claims Adjuster
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