Advances in technology often mean that we’ve made tasks easier and faster, and services more accessible. When it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day this sounds like good news, but this can also mean that we’ve opened the door to new risks. Individually we take precautions to protect our personal information; shred important documents, mind our social networks and concoct mind-boggling passwords we’re sure we’ll remember (but never do).
Canadian businesses have also taken great strides in protecting the data we choose to share. A 2013 survey commissioned by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, shows that of the 1,000 business surveyed 95% have never had a breach (see the full post here). Yet, despite our best efforts privacy breaches happen.
A 2015 report issued by Symantec, a company whose business is information security and management tells us that, 60 percent of all targeted attacks struck small and medium-sized organizations. Businesses of this size often have fewer resources to invest in security and Symantec says many are still not adopting basic best practices like blocking executable files and screensaver email attachments. In fact, cyber attacks make the top of the list for data breaches
- 49% cyber attackers
- 22% accidental breaches
- 21% theft or loss of computer or drive
- 8% insider theft
Is your organization cyber smart? Do you have policies in place to prevent a loss? Would you know what to do if one occurred? If you’re company manages the personal information of it’s clients, proprietary business data or private data of any kind, you’d be wise to start implementing some security protocols. Here are just a few basics to get you started:
You make the rules. Creating internal policies for employee online access can significantly help to mitigate loss. Be clear about internet use, the way sensitive data should be transmitted or stored, and the importance of effective passwords and privacy.
Stay on top of it. Simply keeping your systems up-to-date can limit the cracks in your security. Web browsers, firewalls, anti-virus software and others, you know, the reminders you click ‘remind me later’ for each time the pop-up comes into view?? Skip later and do now. Companies are often providing updates because they’ve identified new risks or vulnerabilities. It is in your best interest to keep them updated.
Know what you don’t know. Whether you’re a manufacturer, retailer, professional service provider or otherwise, you’ve earned your reputation and repeat business based on your expertise and continued growth in your field. Whatever that is, if you’re reading this post it’s likely not cyber security. Don’t wing it, especially when your customer data is on the line.
The Government of Canada has produced this handy resource for small and medium-sized businesses to get you started, download it here. It might also be worth engaging a cyber security consultant, also known as “ethical hackers”. These experts can help you identify your businesses vulnerabilities and give you the tools to protect your organizations most valuable data.
Be prepared. Just as technology gets smarter, the perpetrators of cyber crimes get smarter too. Should your business be the target of an attack are you prepared to make your customers whole again? Could you manage with the loss of income if a breach brought business to a halt?
This is where Cyber, Privacy and Media Risk (CPM) insurance can come to the rescue. CPM policies allow companies to customize coverage to match the exact risks they face or may encounter. This can include:
- Coverage for the expenses involved with the repairs and recovery from first and third-party privacy breaches
- Protection against liability for privacy violations
- Comprehensive multimedia liability protection against claims for intellectual property rights infringement relating to all forms of content, including user-generated content
- Coverage for the costs of phishing scams, telephone hacking, identity theft, wire fraud and extortion
- Defense against the loss of revenue associated with the reputational harm associated with a security breach or denial of service attack
- Technological errors and omissions coverage
- Coverage for regulatory actions and investigations
- Coverage for crisis communication costs
And, it doesn’t just stop there; there is plenty to consider when it comes to coverage. Again, talk to an expert. The team at InsureMy can help you assess your CPM risks and the appropriate coverage solution.
Want to know more? Review these sources and resources.
- Symantec – Internet Security Threat Report 2015
- Globe and Mail – Cyber Attacks and Canadian Businesses, August 18, 2014
- 2013 Canadian Businesses and Privacy-Related Issues Report – Prepared for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
- 2014 Canadian Anti‐Fraud Centre Annual Statistical Report
- Government of Canada – Get Cyber Safe
Have More Questions?
Let me know and I’ll do my best to address it here for you and all of our readers. Better yet, contact an InsureMy advisor; these guys know their stuff. Email Info@InsureMy.ca or give them a call locally at (403) 410-1896 or toll free at 1-844-410-1896.
Everyday Insurance With Allie
Working mom, lover of the great outdoors and self-professed know-it-all. Our resident blogger, Allie isn’t the insurance guru she claims to be – but she’s learning and we are happy to help guide her. All the while keeping you in the loop on the “insurancey” stuff you need to know. #AskAllie