Digital capabilities continue to grow in today’s business market, allowing companies to engage with customers in new, innovative ways.

But opening the door to the ever-evolving digital market also opens a business up to more cyber risks, such as data breaches, phishing attacks and social engineering.

That’s why more and more businesses are investing in cyber liability insurance. The good news: it’s affordable. The even better news: it’s designed for every type of business – big, small and in-between.

“Every business has exposure to a cyber attack because they all use computers,” said Chris Rea, vice president of surety and an insurance and bond agent for Six & Geving Insurance.

Six & Geving Insurance, the largest locally owned commercial insurance agency in Colorado Springs, is seeing more businesses take out cyber liability insurance policies, Rea said. He believes every business needs some level of cyber insurance.

That trend is holding true across the U.S. According to a report released this week by Fitch Ratings Inc., cyber insurance is one of the fastest-growing insurance premiums in the U.S.  Cyber premiums grew 8 percent in 2018 to $2 billion among the U.S. property/casualty insurance industry, according to the report.Cyber liability insurance helps a business in the event of a cyber attack. While businesses can train employees and consumers as much as possible to protect against an attack, Rea said hackers are becoming more sophisticated and there continue to be data breaches every day.

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“Lately we’ve seen very sophisticated phishers who can hack a Microsoft server,” he said. “They’ll hijack legitimate Microsoft servers and convert email addresses so they look legitimate, meaning they’ll use an actual Microsoft email address. The only thing that might tip you off to a phishing attack is that the request will sound odd or it won’t make sense.”

So in the unfortunate event that a company does encounter a data breach, cyber liability insurance comes in to help, Rea said.

Cyber liability insurance protects both first, second and third parties, Rea said. First party data is a company’s own data. Perhaps a company has been attacked and is unable to access its data. Cyber insurance provides assistance in recovering it, he said.

Second party data is customer data, such as a hospital’s patient records. If that data is breached or stolen, Rea said, laws often require businesses to notify customers, and there are often public relations and mitigation components. A cyber policy can help with all of this, he said.

Cyber liability insurance also helps protect against third-party data breaches. For example, when Target’s data was breached in 2013 it was actually because of a phishing attack on a third-party HVAC company in New Jersey. The HVAC company had credentials for online invoicing with Target. The phishing attack resulted in hackers gaining credentials to access Target’s accounting system and using it to infect credit card swipers at Target, taking millions of credit card numbers in a four-day scam.

Rea said a cyber liability policy typically costs between $1,800 and $3,000, so it’s considered a relatively low-cost insurance for a business to take out.

The policies can be as inclusive as a company wants to make them. Rea said the insurance industry is observing that the better cyber policies have a public relations component to them to help companies with PR expenses related to a data breach. Some policies also offer an assessment of a company’s system to determine vulnerability, he said.

Within a decade or two, Rea believes, cyber coverage will be a standard part of all insurance policies.

To learn more about Six & Geving Insurance, visit six-geving.com or call (719) 590-9990.

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