Cyber risk and your business

September 19th, 2017

Cyber Risk – What is it and what is the threat?

 Another name for cyber risk or computer hacking is social engineering. No longer are malicious hackers merely disrupting your computer’s databases. They are hijacking your data and misusing it for criminal activities, with threats of extortion to get access to your database that the hackers have encrypted, or even destroying your actual database. It may even disrupt your physical working environment.

More recently, database attacks have occurred simultaneously, disrupting a wider sector of businesses. In some cases, the infiltration of computer systems goes undetected for months. The scope and frequency of these attacks have been increasing over the past 5 years as more companies rely on technology to conduct their businesses.

Best practices in the use of technology is key to minimize the exposure to a cyber attack. These practices can include (but are not all encompassing) frequent password changes, maintaining adequate updated anti-virus software and operating systems and having policies that address the handling of emails and sensitive information by employees. It can be as easy as not using an unsecured wireless network or even better - not at all. Another good safeguard would be to restrict the use of portable devices.

Among global insurers, cyber risk is the second most pressing issue with managing change ranking as the primary concern. Interestingly, enough, managing change will rely heavily on technology to help insurers remain competitive and relevant in the coming years. So, the two are linked. This is a similar challenge facing businesses as they evolve.

The good news is that all major insurers have recognized this cyber risk exposure and offer a variety of insurance products to help businesses deal with the growing threat and complexity of cyber risk- many at a very reasonable cost. It is however, up to entrepreneurs to manage the exposure in a proactive way. If you need more information on this, please contact our office.

Privacy breaches are required by law to be reported to the Office of the Privacy Commission of Canada. If you need to have a better understanding of how a breach may affect you, then visit: https://www.priv.gc.ca/en.