The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation both personally and professionally and in turn increased our vulnerabilities.  As a result, the demand for cyber insurance coverage has increased.

Cyber attacks have become more customized and sophisticated where victims are enticed to click on malicious links, give up passwords or install unauthorized software. Cybercriminals then gain access to personal or corporate systems, steal sensitive data, extort ransom, or even add your computer to a botnet to launch malicious attacks on other computers.

Losses from cyber related risks have skyrocketed.  Here in Canada, the loss ratio for cyber liability was more than 100% so far in 2021, as recently reported by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

It’s not just “big business” that is vulnerable, hackers don’t just target large corporations and high-profile people. The average person or small business use computers and portable devices, store electronic data, retain people’s private information and are now even more dependent on the internet and likely do not have the knowledge or internal expertise to prevent, manage or recover from a cyber attack.  Everyone has a level of connectivity and exposure.

Cyber Insurance Coverage can provide multiple layers of insurance defense on a personal level and for a business.

Security breach warning on smartphone screen - how can business keep their data safe with cyber insurance

CYBER OR COMPUTER ATTACK  pays for restoration if an attack damages your data and systems. Computers and connected devices, like smart home equipment, can be exposed to nasty malware viruses simply by opening an attachment from an unknown email, clicking on online ads, or downloading unofficial software. If infected, you could face loss or damage to your files, data, and systems which could be costly to replace or repair. Cyber coverage pays to recover and restore systems affected by a cyber attack.

CYBER EXTORTION coverage helps you respond to extortion threats. Ransomware viruses will threaten to damage, disable, or deny you access to files on your devices or systems. Your coverage ensures you have professional assistance, or possibly payment, to respond to the attack.

Attack techniques have become increasingly sophisticated and more automated, which has enabled criminals to extort ever-growing amounts from organizations, especially smaller businesses that have become “attractive targets.”

Ransomware remains the most lucrative cybercriminal activity.  A poll of cybersecurity experts suggests nearly 70% of Canadian organizations facing a ransomware attack last year paid the demands to avoid downtime, reputational damage, and other costs.

There is a call for legislation prohibiting making payments to ransomware attackers.  This is because organizations that are hit with ransomware typically are hit again. If legislation prohibits these payments, we disrupt Ransomware attackers’ business model, which relies on people paying the ransoms.  Legislation to prevent payouts could deter if not defeat ransomware as an industry.

In the past, Canada has faced some high-profile ransomware attacks affecting hospitals, RCMP detachments and pipelines.

DATA COMPROMISE/BREACH COVERAGE covers costs associated with lawsuits related to personal information breaches. The contact information you keep electronically may seem harmless – like a client or friend’s phone numbers, addresses and birthdays, but in the wrong hands, these can be used for malicious intent. Your coverage takes the responsibility off your shoulders in the event of loss, theft or accidental release of other people’s sensitive information that was stored on your systems.

IDENTITY THEFT COVERAGE provides case management services and out-of-pocket expenses to recover control of your identity after an attack. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell fact from fiction online whether it’s a believable email that appears to come from a friend or family member, a fake contest offer, or requests for charitable donations. Scammers use a wide variety of tactics to try and gain access to confidential information via email, often relying on the trust of the recipient. Your coverage protects you from financial loss due to criminal deception, identity theft and unauthorized use of credit cards or bank accounts.

"Insurance" button on a computer keyboard - How Cyber Insurance can help business

Commercial Cyber insurance packages can also include:

  • NETWORK SECURITY LIABILTY providing defense and settlement costs if a system security failure on your part causes damage to a third party
  • ELECTRONIC MEDIA LIABILTY Providing defense and settlement costs if the information on your website causes damage to a third party

Financial loss isn’t the only consequence of any Cyber breach as you could lose intellectual property, be hit with compliance fines, risk damage to your reputation, and ultimately, lose friends or customers.  Whether you want to protect yourself, protect your business, or both we can help you with the coverage that is best for you.

Other Resources:

Working from home? Follow these cybersecurity best practices. (canadianunderwriter.ca)

7 in 10 Canadian organizations facing ransomware attacks paid demands: survey (canadianunderwriter.ca)

Cyber insurance caught in “perfect storm” as losses surge: Coalition Canada (canadianunderwriter.ca)

Nine Ways to Protect your Small Business (wawanesa.com)