Posted on 8/23/2017

Cyberattack. Are you prepared?

Molly E. Green

According to a 2016 Verizon Data Breach Report, the global cost of cybercrime will reach $2 trillion by 2019, a three-fold increase from the 2015 estimate of $500 billion. The threat of a cyberattack is no longer a case of if it will happen, but when it will happen. How can you protect your organization?

One way to stay protected is through cyber liability coverage, which covers your organization from claims by other individuals or organizations because of a cybercrime. The policy provides support if there are lawsuits against an organization for failing to protect the confidential information of others. This coverage could be essential.  

Your organization will only have to make one call to the insurance carrier if you believe a cyber breach has occurred.  The carrier will manage the breach investigation, which is invaluable as many companies will not have the resources to manage the breach. What may be the most important feature of a cyber liability policy, however, is the support it will provide. Most cyber liability carriers will hire a forensic specialist to determine if a breach occurred, help determine the scope of the breach, and identify who must receive notification of the breach.

The cyber coverage included in most package policies will not include the scope of coverage that is needed.  It is important to understand not all cyber policies are the same. Cyber liability coverage should be reviewed along with all liability coverage associated with the organization.

What are other organizations doing to protect themselves?

There is relatively little data on what cyber issues small and mid-size organizations have been faced with and what measures they are taking to protect themselves. For the last two years, Marsh & McLennan Agency has conducted a cyber survey focusing on small and mid-size employers. This year they are partnering with Microsoft to launch its third annual survey. The intent of the survey is to better understand how they compare to their peers around the country in the areas of cyber exposure, adoption of risk management techniques and their overall understanding of the risk they face.  

In the Marsh & McLennan Agency 2015/2016 cyber survey, they found that 60 percent of all cyber-attacks struck small to mid-sized businesses. Even one successful attack to this size business could shut down operations completely due to the enormous costs associated with recovery. This data is alarming when only 34.6 percent of these businesses believed the threat of a cyberattack wouldn’t be severe enough to warrant the investment of time and resources.

The ultimate take away is there are clear benefits from addressing cyber and data security at the executive level. Starting and maintaining regular discussions about cybersecurity and loss mitigation techniques can lead your organization to have an active role in safeguarding themselves if – and when – a cyberattack occurs.

If you are a small or mid-size organization, you can contribute your thoughts on cyber risk and participate in the Marsh & McLennan survey by clicking here.

About the Author

Molly E. Green | Marsh & McLennan Agency

Molly E. Green, RD, LIC, CISR is marketing and communications strategist at Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA), a subsidiary of Marsh, that was established in 2008 to meet the needs of mid-size businesses. MMA offer employee benefits, executive benefits, retirement, commercial property and casualty and personal lines to clients across the United States. Green graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor’s in science and is responsible for developing new property and casualty business and marketing strategies for MMA.


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