Growing your business online in the “new normal” comes with new risks

As companies adjust their business to address the challenges of the global pandemic, many have expanded their online operations and moved to virtual workspaces for employees. Growing your business online has advantages in the “new normal” but also comes with new risks.

“Cyber insurance is relatively new but has roots in privacy liability insurance which has been around for several years,” said Rob Selnes, one of the cyber leaders at CapriCMW. “More and more
companies are doing business online, but the threats of doing business this way have changed significantly over the last few years”

The technology that businesses use is savvier – but so are the criminals. The risks of cyber attacks are real and the expenses incurred following an attack are generally not covered by commercial general liability insurance. The average cost of a data breach in Canada is now approximately $6 million, and while many of the cyber attacks we hear about happen to major organizations, cybercriminals don’t care how large your business is. The impact of a cyber attack on a small business can be devastating.

Approximately 70 percent of cybersecurity incidents are the result of employee error or a lack of IT security training, such as:

  • Phishing attacks
  • Sharing passwords or having weak (or non-existent) passwords
  • Inappropriate use of IT resources
  • Physical loss of devices (such as a phones or laptops)
  • Improper data sharing
  • Introducing viruses and malware to company systems

The average cost of a data breach in Canada is now $6.11 million.

These types of incidents can lead to privacy breaches, data and financial theft, unauthorized access to business systems and ransomware attacks.

Many employers don’t appreciate how sophisticated cyber criminals are,” said Selnes. “And the pandemic has presented new opportunities to these criminals. Many companies have also had to suddenly adapt corporate IT systems to accommodate work-from-home options which haven’t generally been thoughtfully planned out.”

Companies also have less time to think about cybersecurity issues while dealing with the ongoing challenges of COVID-19. Even those with great IT teams can only do so much and many companies don’t have a dedicated IT team at all.

The Cyber Liability and Privacy Liability insurance offered by CapriCMW covers not only the liability side of a cyber attack (theft of information and privacy breaches) – but also picks up legal costs and provable damages. Additionally, these policies cover businesses for the costs associated with loss of service, ransomware, and stolen funds.

However, Selnes points out that a key benefit of these policies is their ability to provide the policyholder with immediate access to crisis management and cybersecurity experts. Cyber attacks are usually sudden and highly time-sensitive, so immediate access to dedicated legal, IT security and public relations expertise provides companies with critical support when they need it most. For the cost of this insurance, companies basically have a broad team of specialists available on retainer to keep their business running before, during and after a cyber attack.

Success in the “new normal” means working with your insurer to protect your business, data, and clients.

For more information about Cyber Liability and Privacy Insurance contact CapriCMW Insurance Services Ltd.