Target, Home Depot, Best Buy, what do they have in common besides being significant names in the retail world? All three were victims of data breaches by hackers. Such is the nature of today’s digital business world. But small business is safe, right? I mean, big retailers are the real gold mines, right? Nobody goes after small businesses in Wisconsin, right? Wrong, wrong and wrong.
Chances are your business is being repeatedly attacked weekly and there are security systems on the market to identify how often thieves attempt access. Today, even an email can be an effective tool for hackers. Chances are you have even identified some suspicious activity. The bottom line is no business is safe. Owners must brace for that reality and that means adding cyber liability coverage.
- What is cyber liability insurance? This type of coverage offers a business protection in the event customers personal information – credit cards, Social Security numbers – is stolen or exposed in a data breach. It can also cover additional liabilities related to lost data, intellectual property, viruses unknowingly passed along or even a defamatory blog post. There are a wide range of activities the policy can cover beyond just a data breach. Your local independent insurance agent can help you navigate the coverage.
- Shouldn’t this be covered under a standard BOP? These types of situations would not automatically be covered under your BOP. It’s a double-edged sword. The technology we are using today is helping us streamline our businesses and do more each day. Problem is the technology is moving so fast that it would be difficult for risk managers to assess accurately your risk today, tomorrow and five years from now to roll into standard coverage. Double check to make sure this coverage is part of your package, and if not, can it be added? If it cannot be added, it is available separately, as well.
- What if I use a third party for collection of personal information that could normally put a business at risk? You are still at risk. Just because a third party is hosting this information in the cloud, doesn’t let you off the hook. If you are asking for the information, you are culpable.
- What’s at risk without it? Quite simply, your business. One need only look at the size of the numbers related to judgments against companies that were breached to gain an understanding of the damages. Costs include restoring lost data, investigating the depth of the breach, identity restoration and ongoing monitoring for those impacted, legal fees, compensatory damages as a result of litigation, and many others. So in assessing the risk, consider if just a few dozen of your customers’ data was breached and you were paying these costs out of pocket. The numbers can be crippling for a small business. In fact, many never survive such a situation.
If only your business information and systems were safe and secure when you closed the safe and locked the door for the day. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Today’s thieves are skilled hackers adept at breaking into systems any hour of the day (even when you are there) and their currency in this new world is personal information. Business owners retaining any personal information on-site or through a third-party hosting service should consider seriously the security that comes with a cyber liability policy. Contact your local independent insurance agent to navigate these new waters of cyber liability insurance.
Our professional agents at Senn Hometown Insurance Agency, Inc. can help you with all of your business insurance needs. Contact us today to review your policies and make sure you are adequately covered.
Senn Hometown Insurance Agency, Inc.