Coverage for business loss as global cyber threats increase

Tom Popomaronis | June 11, 2013

What Value Do You Place On Your Brand?

The simple answer is your brand is your business and it goes hand in hand with how you’re perceived. Are you trusted by your clients? Would that trust continue if your organisation were to be hit by a cyber-attack, data breach or law suit following social media comments/mistakes? All of these scenarios can have a devastating impact on any company’s reputation.

A data/privacy breach may occur from a variety of different sources, some of which may stem from:

  • Cybercrime
  • Lost or stolen laptop
  • Malicious employee
  • The failure of third party system where you store data (e.g. the cloud)
  • An innocent mistake e.g. sending an email to the wrong person with the wrong document

Does your organisation have a cyber-attack / privacy breach response team?

Within this team it is advisable to include internal and external IT security specialists, legal experts with cyber and privacy expertise, an experienced PR team to guide you through crisis communications both traditional and online management, and finally risk transfer (insurance).

What is cyber insurance?

Insurance can play a valuable part in footing the bill, protecting your brand and balance sheet should your business be in the unenviable position of recovering from a cyber-attack or privacy breach. Coverage starts from a few hundred pounds and can include the following:

  • System Business Interruption Insurance – this will look to provide coverage for your business interruption losses as a result of system outage as a result of a cyber-peril (e.g. hacking, virus, or malicious damage) the majority of traditional business interruption policies exclude this cover.
  • Crisis Communications Costs – can look to cover the costs that are reasonably incurred (normally subject to insurers written consent) for services of a PR consultancy to help avert or mitigate damage to your reputation or brand. This cover is usually only triggered if there is a claim under another section of the insurance contract.
  • Cyber Crime – there are a multitude of covers that fall in to this category which can include computer crime, identity theft, cyber threats and extortion coverage, telephone hacking and phishing scams.
  • Multimedia Liability and Advertising Injury – heads of coverage that can be sourced in this section of a cyber insurance policy can include sums that you become legally obliged to pay as a result of defamation, third party intellectual property rights infringement, invasion of rights of privacy and content liability claims. Coverage under some policies can also provide you with protection from both your own media content and user generated content.
  • Cyber Liability – covers you where you become legally obliged to pay as a result of third party suffering a financial loss that has arisen from a hacking attack or virus that has emanated from or passed through your computer system. Under some policies cover can also be included to extend to cloud computing systems.
  • Privacy Liability – coverage can be put in place to cover you should a third party make a claim against you and you become legally obliged to pay as a result of a security breach which results in matters such as a breach of personally identifiable data or credit card information. A breach of your data or data you are responsible for that is located in a cloud computing providers system.
  • Privacy Breach Notification Costs – can look to cover the costs of notifying third parties that there has been an actual or suspect breach of personally identifiable information including the costs to draft the notice. These costs are usually paid where you are legally obliged to do so, however, they can also be paid if where you are not legally obliged to but could effectively mitigate material damage to your brand or reputation.

In summary a business’s cyber risk is no longer emerging. This tangible risk needs to be on the agenda of every board of directors or management team to take action and to no simply talk about and forget. The cyber threat is very real is not going to go away.

Find out more about Cyber and Privacy Protection Insurance.

EVP, Innovation
Tom is a serial entrepreneur, product development expert, and content management strategist. Every hour of every day (perhaps too many hours) he focuses on strategies for our Executive Leadership Branding clients to build a powerful and credible online reputation.