Understanding Your Technology Risks
Specialized technology insurance is an important part of your business’s thorough technology risks management planning. Businesses today don’t only hold physical assets. Through the use of technology companies now are responsible for very valuable intangible assets. Such as sensitive data, software and intellectual property, which a general liability policy doesn’t account for.
Technology Insurance 101
General liability provides protection in the event of bodily injury or property damage. Technology insurance coverage gives protection against the significant risk of economic loss related to the intangible assets a company owns. A comprehensive risk management plan needs to guard against the unique exposures that the use of technology presents.
Terms to Know
Specialized technology protections are relatively new and the terminology is still evolving as exposures are discovered and more claims are handled. As a result, the terminology can be confusing and hard to understand. The following terms are some of the most common you will need to know to best understand your technology risks and protections:
A cyber liability policy is a coverage that protects against damage from cyber-attacks, data breaches and other basic risks that result from using electronic communications and data storage. They often cover the cost of recreating damaged or lost data or systems but do not include the costs that stem from the loss or damage, including legal expenses and data notification costs. Sometimes the term cyber liability is used broadly to describe technology-related risks and technology insurance protections in general.
Data breach notification laws
These state laws dictate the requirements for notification if an organization were to suffer a data breach that compromised personal data, such as Social Security numbers and financial and health information. Each state law varies on the time period that individuals need to be notified of the breach and what situations are exempt from the requirement.
The intangible property your company owns. This can include websites, data, and networks. These intangible assets can all be damaged. To protect your cyber property you may need to broaden the property enhancements on your existing policy. Also, check if you have any coverage that would protect you if your company or an employee caused damage to another organization’s cyber property.
Media and intellectual property liability
All content on the Internet is considered to be published, meaning it is subject to copyrights and infringement. Negative content published online about a person or company can be considered libelous. Take caution when posting anything to websites, forums or social networking sites.
Search Engine Technology Risks
It’s no secret that your technology company depends on the capabilities of your computer systems to function. You should be aware that simple actions your employees take could be putting your company’s equipment and networks at risk of cybercrime, including cyber attacks, cyber theft, and other computer security incidents. Moreover, the average cost of a single cyber-attack is incalculable—cyber attacks can directly target finances and ruin a business’ reputation. Your business is at stake, and you should do everything you can to protect yourself.
The Technology Risks of Web Searches
As an employer, you should educate your employees about searching for certain topics on the internet due to the risk of coming across websites encrypted with viruses or malware that could be detrimental to your computer systems. Moreover, stress that the potential for cybercrime could affect employees individually as well as the business as a whole. More than 90 percent of companies surveyed by the DOJ incurred either monetary loss, system downtime loss or both because of cybercrime, so take it upon yourself to put search engine guidelines in place.
The Web’s Most Dangerous Search Terms
Common term searches conducted online one can expose your business to the risk of cybercrime. Encourage employees to avoid following suspicious results in search engines. Any result that promises free products or materials is suspect. Furthermore, the least risky search terms are usually health-related topics and searches about economic news. It is essential to remember that the number of dangerous search terms is ever-changing. Hackers want to impact the highest amount of people with the least amount of effort, so they aim for popular search terms most. Ill-intentioned hackers also adapt quickly to the fast-paced nature of the internet and the public circle, so oftentimes social or celebrity events popular at a given moment climb quickly to the top of the internet’s most dangerous search terms and are a high risk for infecting your company’s computers.
According to the DOJ, industries considered a part of critical infrastructure businesses accounts for a disproportionate amount of computer security incidents. If your company is in any of these industries, be especially careful about internet searches to ensure computer safety and protect against the potentially devastating loss, both monetary and in downtime:
- Chemical and drug manufacturing
- Computer system design
- Health care
- Internet service providers
- Petroleum mining and manufacturing
- Real estate
- Transportation and pipelines
Take Precautions to Protect Your Business
There are examples of companies and organizations around the globe that had to shut down operations to address a large-scale virus or another malware issue. Moreover, these problems can affect both large and small businesses and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix. Avoid putting yourself at risk by doing the following:
- Enact a stricter internet use policy.
- Put more strict website blockers or filters in place.
- Educate employees about the hazards that risky search engine exploration can present.
Some of these solutions may cost you in the short run, but lowering your risk will ultimately save your company in potential identity fraud, monetary cyber theft or informational cyber theft in the future. The exposures and threats of business operations involving technology will continue to grow as technology does. NEWS Insurance Services can help you keep your business protected against these specialized risks.