My data is being held hostage. What do I do?

My data is being held hostage. What do I do?

By Janice Campbell, Commercial Account Executive

Who would have thought that Cyber Extortion would become a real thing? But it is. Cyber extortion or a ransomware attack is when someone threatens to damage or release data from your computer system or disable or interrupt the normal operations of your system if you don’t pay them a set amount of money. Can you imagine not being able to access your own systems to do your daily work? What would it cost if you couldn’t work for a day? A week? There’s a lot of number signs appearing in front of your eyes, isn’t there. This is not something that your traditional business insurance policy covers but it is a risk that many businesses are exposed to.

That’s not the only way scammers are causing havoc for businesses. We’re seeing more and more cases of businesses being duped into paying funds to a hacker, thinking they are paying their supplier. Again, not something that was an issue when we paid everything by cash or cheque but today it is a real thing and it’s not covered by a traditional insurance policy.

Let’s step away from the hacker discussion for a minute and think about some of the other cyber risks that might present themselves in your business. Do you use social media to promote your business? Do you have a website? Do you distribute print materials? Each of these avenues of communicating with clients has potential risks to them. What would you do if your materials had errors in them and you were legally bound to full fill your services based on that error? What if activity on your social media account resulted in damage to your business? These are things most businesses don’t think about when they start printing and posting but the simplest error could cause major concerns. Media Liability is the coverage in your cyber security policy that can address these risks.

I never want to scare by clients into thinking something bad will happen, but we all know that life can hit fast. I believe in educating my clients and having these discussions before rather than after something happens.