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Cyber Insurance 101: How to Protect Your Computer Systems and Data

Learn about all the different facets of cyber insurance and how to best protect your small business from cyber attacks. These informative articles include “4 Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks in Creative Industries” and “Cyber Insurance for Non-Profits”, among others!

** eBook includes coupon codes with discounts on various insurance policies amounting to $265 CAD IN SAVINGS, including $50 in cyber insurance policy savings. Coupons valid in Canada only; QC, ON, SK are excluded. **

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Table of Contents

• CYBER INSURANCE FOR CANADIAN SMALL BUSINESSES

WHAT IS CYBER LIABILITY INSURANCE?

Cyber liability insurance goes by many names these days: Cyber Insurance; Cyber Security, Cyber Risk, Hack Insurance and others. However, the intent of all of these polices remains the same. A Cyber Insurance policy is an insurance product used to protect your business from data breaches on computer systems, exposing client information.

Get a no obligation online quote here now  ➭

WHAT DOES A CYBER LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY COVER? 

  • Comprehensive Cyber Liability: Combines third-party (your customers/clients) cyber liability and first-party (you and your business) cyber crime expense coverage in one form.
  • Digital Data Recovery Costs: Covers destruction or loss of data resulting from a criminal  cyber event.
  • Business Interruption: Continuing normal operating & payroll expenses, and net profit before income tax that would have been earned had no interruption in service of the computer system occurred.
  • Extortion & Ransomware: Provides coverage for costs associated with investigating threats to commit cyber attacks and payments to those who threaten to disclose sensitive info.
  • Forensic Investigation

CAN MY BUSINESS AFFORD CYBER INSURANCE?

While the most prominent cases report have been attacks against large companies such as Target, Sony and Home Depot; in fact, 43% of attacks are occurring against small businesses. Of the small businesses attacked, 60% never recover after a hack and go out of business within 6 months because of a lack of cyber security. Starting from just $300 CAD annually (subject to change), with limit options up to $1,000,000.Cyber Liability for Small Business

Front Row Insurance’s Hackinsure provides protection against a range of online hazards – peace of mind is available online in five minutes with no need to talk to a broker.

Blog Post: ONLINE CYBER INSURANCE CANADA

• CYBER SECURITY INSURANCE / CYBER LIABILITY INSURANCE

Cyber Insurance / Cyber Liability Insurance / Cyber Security InsuranceIS YOUR SMALL BUSINESS DATA SECURE? DON’T WAIT TO FIND OUT.

On the back of several high-profile data breaches in recent years, Cybersecurity is increasingly top of mind for executives as well as customers. Hackers are targeting organizations of all sizes with increasing sophistication and persistence. As the risk grows, what is being done?

Experts Say: Not Enough.

Criminal networks are devoting an increasing proportion of their time and attention to Cybercrime because it’s easier and more lucrative than more traditional types of crime, and harder to get caught. Worryingly, businesses seem to be inclined to take a reactive rather than proactive approach.

While 99.8% of Canadian companies fall into the category of small or medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and 43% of Cyberattacks specifically target them, 90% do not have cyber insurance. Costs per incident run from the tens of thousands of dollars in smaller companies, to millions for larger, better-known organizations. Recent research into the topic of Cybersecurity has highlighted the need for improved focus on personnel training and specialized IT staff.

Small businesses spend comparatively less on Cybersecurity, and the impact of Cybercrime on them tends to be more severe when it does happen: many small businesses which have been hacked go out of business shortly after (estimated at 60%) because they are simply unable to deal with the financial and reputational cost.

Typically, an organization’s Cybersecurity budget is a proportion of their IT budget (often around 10%). Most organizations spend more on Cybersecurity after an attack, but mostly on technology such as firewalls and anti-malware software rather than personnel training and governance. Larger organizations seem to take the problem more seriously, but they also tend to be more frequent targets of attacks due to the bigger payoff.

Failure to safeguard against Cyberattacks can injure more than just a company’s financial position; the very survival of an organization can be threatened. A successful Cybersecurity strategy will involve adequate spending on training, governance and internal processes to reduce risk as well as technology, and a comprehensive insurance plan to address risks which cannot be adequately reduced or managed.

Blog Post: CYBER LIABILITY INSURANCE CANADA

• HACK INSURANCE: IT'S NOT JUST FOR BIG BUSINESSES

 

Worried about a cyber attack? Here’s what you need to know.

Cyber Hack Insurance

There’s been a lot of buzz in the news lately about cyber attacks on big banks and corporations. Cyber attacks are a topic of concern not only for big businesses, and their customers, but also for the many small and mid sized businesses that make up the fabric of our economy in Canada.

43% of all cyber attacks happen against small businesses, which means more Canadian consumers are at risk now than ever for having their security compromised by hackers. Also, because small businesses tend to allocate less budget and resources to privacy and security systems, they are the ideal target for hackers.

Computer - cyber hack insuranceSo, where does this leave your business? Well, for starters, you’ll want to ensure you’re protected against the costs and risks associated with a possible cyber attack. Front Row has recently launched an online Hack Insurance product to address this exact need. You can obtain coverage online starting at $300. And, like all of Front Row’s online products, you’ll be fully insured within a couple of minutes with no need for any meetings, paperwork, or hassle.

To help guard against the risk of a cyber attack:

  • Developing a password strategy: Using the same password across multiple devices and accounts is the easiest way to compromise security. Once a hacker gets their hands on a password, they can easily use it to compromise employee information as well as customer data, turning a single password breach into millions of dollars in damage.
  • Avoiding collecting or storing payment information: Outsource payment processing and avoid collecting customer payment information such as credit card info on your own. Dedicated security staff have the resources and tools to protect data better than you can.
  • Educating your employees: It might seem like common sense, but it’s not always. Develop a written policy about security and privacy and make sure employees are on board and understand their responsibility to protect any confidential data. No business is “too small” for a hacker - the better prepared you are, the less at risk you are.
  • And, of course, purchasing hack insurance: 90% of small businesses do not currently have cyber insurance. You need to know that your business will be protected against any security breaches. Our new product provides this protection. You can get insured online in a couple of minutes by clicking here.

Blog Post: CYBER HACK INSURANCE

• THE CONSEQUENCES OF A CYBER ATTACK

IS YOUR BUSINESS PREPARED FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF A CYBER ATTACK?

Online Hack Insurance

You can insure your business against the worst effects of a hack attack on your computer system by answering a few questions online here: https://hackinsure.frontrowinsurance.com/

Possible consequences of not having the right cyber insurance coverage:

  1. Cyber lawsuits often have negative effects on a company’s relationship with its customers. If their private information was stolen during the breach, they may not feel comfortable doing business with you again in the future.
  2. Due to the recent rise in cyber hack attacks on small businesses, customers and third-party partners may request that you have this type of insurance coverage before doing business with you. In fact, studies have found that only 50% of consumers feel that businesses are taking the appropriate measures, to safeguard themselves from cyber attacks.

Protect your small business by purchasing Cyber Liability coverage online. Obtain a quote in 2 minutes and a policy in 5 minutes 24/7.

90% of small businesses in Canada do not have Cyber insurance.

You have seen the news: Sony, Target, Home Depot……. An affordable, fast cyber policy is now available for you to purchase in minutes.

Blog Post: IS YOUR BUSINESS PREPARED FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF A CYBER ATTACK?

• 4 WAYS TO PREVENT CYBER ATTACKS IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY

cyber attacks in creative industries

Content creation companies such those involved in advertising & media, film production, graphic design or animation that operate without cyber security insurance are exposed to cyber-attacks.

Any company that produces creative content usually holds sensitive information for their clients. It could be: a film production company holding scripts from writers; ad agencies holding strategic plans to formulate an ad campaign; photographers holding secret marketing campaign ideas.

4 WAYS TO PREVENT CYBER ATTACKS IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY:

  1. Educating your employees. All companies can take action by raising awareness through employee training. By teaching your employees: how to properly dispose of sensitive information and having protocols to change passwords on a regular basis, the chance of preventing a cyber-attack is increased.
  2. Purchasing Cyber Security Insurance. Whether you are Sony Pictures or operating a small two person design studio, you are never going to be truly protected without cyber insurance. Sophisticated cyber hackers are now targeting small companies as bigger companies invest in better protections. 43% of all cyber attacks are now against small businesses.
  3. Being proactive. Business owners who are tuned into the ongoing cyber risks will always come out on top because they realize this is a growing exposure. 60% of small business that are hacked never recover and go out of business in 6 months after the cyber attack.
  4. Dealing with data. People don’t think they need cyber insurance because their data is backed up, on another server or encrypted. Unfortunately, anyone dealing with data has an exposure to cyber-attacks; this doesn’t ensure cyber security. 90% of all small business have no protocols in place to protect client data. Create a plan and follow it.

Need cyber insurance? Peace of Mind starts here:

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Blog Post: CYBER ATTACKS IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

• 6 MYTHS AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT CYBER INSURANCE

cyber crime insuranceInformation Superhighway Robbery? It Pays to be Prepared.

The Internet may be the Wild West, but these days criminals don’t arrive on horseback and tell you to stick ‘em up; it’s more likely that your vulnerable systems containing customer payment data or money will be their target. Why? Because for criminals, they’re easier to hit, the risk of detection is lower, and potential profits are much higher. Thieves can grab your money or customer data and ride off into the sunset before anyone even knows anything has happened. What’s worse, a data breach or cyberattack can potentially have ramifications that extend far beyond simple economic loss: loss of reputation, inability to continue operations, and identity theft. As a non-profit, you may feel that your organization is not a target for cybercrime, but charitable institutions are no less exposed to these most modern of risks than any other type of organization. Here are some things to consider.

  • “Our website is not commercial.” Even if you’re not set up to take donations or collect membership dues online, you may still have exposures to risk. For example, many organizations do their own web design or have it done by volunteers. Images and music inadvertently used without permission can give rise to claims of copyright infringement. Due to their often unsupervised nature, discussions on chat rooms and message boards can result in controversy which can result in claims for personal injury and defamation of character. Typical general liability policies available from commercial insurers do not cover these sorts of risks, so even if your organization already has a commercial policy, you may not be protected.
  • “We don’t keep sensitive client data.” In fact, organizations often fail to recognize what data truly qualifies as sensitive (it’s broader than you think). Identity thieves are very interested in gaining access to client information such as phone numbers, email addresses, driver’s license information—in short, much of the same data that charitable organizations have on file.
  • “We only store our data in paper files.” Obviously, paper files can still be stolen. While there is specialized coverage available out there, most commonly available insurance policies don’t automatically cover data loss or loss of important papers.
  • “Our computers are only used for email.” Generally, what hackers are looking for when assessing a potential target is twofold: the vulnerability of the target and the potential payoff of a successful attack. Any point of entry into the organization’s computer system is a potential vulnerability, and one of the easiest points of entry is email. 
  • “We have no website or social media.” Even if your organization has no digital footprint, there are still vulnerabilities. An employee or volunteer might open a malicious email attachment, or visit an infected website accidentally. It’s not unusual for organizations to be hit with “ransomware” attacks which lock down affected computers. Thieves then demand a specific sum in exchange for unlocking them, or threaten to release damaging information if the money is not paid.
  • “We’re too small. They wouldn’t be interested in us.” In fact, hackers tend to have an array of potential targets in mind, which they choose based on a number of factors—for example, the target’s level of preparedness, size, potential payoff, and geographic location. Large, well-known organizations may promise a bigger potential score, but as they also tend to train employees better and have more sophisticated systems in place to protect themselves, they pose a harder target. A hacker might want to add a string of low-risk, reliable scores from smaller organizations such as yours to diversify their portfolio (so to speak).

Blog Post: 6 MYTHS AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT CYBER INSURANCE

• IF YOU ARE A GRAPHIC DESIGNER, YES, YOU NEED HACK INSURANCE

Cyber Hack insuranceHack insurance for graphic designers is designed to protect them from certain losses associated with data breaches and hacks. After a hack, there are costs you will likely incur in:

  • notifying customers that their info has been stolen
  • paying to restore or recover the stolen data

The case of Canva — don't let the same happen to your business!

Canva logo

Think your graphic design firm won't be hacked? Think again. Just look at the case of Canva, the large Australian graphic design business that was hacked in 2019; the data of roughly 139 million users was stolen! The hacker then put the data up for sale on the dark web.

If a hacker can breach the defences of a large graphic design firm such as Canva, they can certainly breach a smaller firm too. Hackers are becoming smarter, making it tougher for graphic designers to defend themselves from a data breach.

If a cyber attacker is able to gain access to your computer, network or other electronic system, they may be able to steal client information, employee information, accounting information and other valuable data from you.

Blog Post: IF YOU ARE A GRAPHIC DESIGNER, YES, YOU NEED HACK INSURANCE

• PHOTOGRAPHERS, ARE YOU PREPARED WITH CYBER INSURANCE IF YOU GET “BRANDJACKED”?

Front Row cyber insurance: brandjacking

Don’t think a cyber hack could happen to your photography business? Well, think again! Just look at the below real-life examples of photography business hacks to see how real this threat is:

Australian photography company – MailChimp account hacked

An Australian photography company’s MailChimp account was hacked in 2018. The hacker imported their spam list and proceeded to email fake invoices from the commandeered account. This is known as “brandjacking”, whereby a hacker assumes the online identity of a brand in order to leverage that business's brand equity for nefarious purposes.

The hacker sent hundreds of thousands of fake invoices to emails around the world, resulting in an unfortunate and embarrassing situation for this photography business. Some consumers who received the fake invoices even reported the business to the Communications & Media Authority.

Hopefully the business had cyber insurance. If they did, they would be able to cover the cost of a forensic investigation to determine how the hack occurred and how to stop it.

Australian photographer hit with ransomware

In 2017, another Australian photographer was hacked – this time hit with ransomware on his computer. He posted about his ordeal on the Digital Photography Review forum, writing, “I have been infected with some sort of virus that has encoded files on my computer – mainly my RAW photo files – and has encrypted them, so now I can't use them.”

Ransom note: Australian photographer hit with ransomwareThe hacker was demanding payment of 0.5 Bitcoin to access a “Decryptor” that would, ostensibly, unlock the photographer’s RAW photo files.

0.5 Bitcoin in Australian dollars (at the time of this writing) = $5,886. Certainly not inexpensive, but the reality is that – once hit with ransomware – you usually have a stark choice between either paying the ransom, or losing your files.

With cyber risk insurance in place, the included ransomware coverage would cover costs associated with investigating threats to commit cyber attacks and payments to those who threaten to obtain and disclose sensitive information.

London-based food photographer hacked

A London UK-based food photographer had his YouTube channel hacked in 2020, even though he had two-step authentication enabled! As he was using Google AdSense to monetize his YouTube videos, this potentially endangered his income.

However, with cyber insurance in place, he wouldn’t have to theorize – the insurance would cover the cost of a forensic investigation to determine how, exactly, this happened. Cyber insurance would also include business interruption to cover lost income from the AdSense account.

Swiss photographer Facebook Page hack

In 2019, a popular Swiss photographer’s Facebook Page was hacked and used to scam hundreds of people! He was eventually able to regain access to his Page, but not before many of his followers were tricked out of their hard-earned money. When something like this happens, it is entirely conceivable that the scammed individuals may decide to sue for damages.

Cyber liability insurance includes first-party and third-party cyber liability coverage. The third-party coverage would be particularly useful in this case, as it covers against lawsuits from third parties (e.g., customers) due to a cyber attack on a business.

Blog Post: PHOTOGRAPHERS, ARE YOU PREPARED WITH CYBER INSURANCE IF YOU GET “BRANDJACKED”?

• FILMMAKERS, ARE YOU PREPARED WITH CYBER INSURANCE IF YOU GET HACKED?

Filmmakers, are YOU prepared with cyber insurance if you get hacked?Source: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 635676176, Shutterstock

Don’t think a cyber hack could happen to your production company? Well, think again! Just look at the below real-life examples of film production company hacks to see how real this threat is:

The Sony Pictures hack (2014)

In 2014, a hacker group (likely sponsored by the North Korean government) leaked a release of confidential data from Sony Pictures, including personal information about employees and their families, information about executive salaries at the company, copies of then-unreleased films, plans for future films, scripts and other information. Several Sony Twitter accounts were also hacked.

The group demanded the cancellation of the release of Sony’s comedy film The Interview (2014) and, indeed, major cinema chains opted not to screen the film in response to these threats.

Although the film eventually did reasonably well through a digital-only release, the cinema chain cancellations amounted to (potentially) millions in lost revenue for Sony. With cyber insurance, the included business interruption coverage could cover lost income and related costs.

If a hacker can breach the defences of a large entertainment company such as Sony Pictures, they can certainly breach a smaller production company, too. Hackers are becoming smarter, making it harder for production companies to defend themselves from a data breach.

The Larson Studios hack (2017)

In 2017, LA-based digital production company Larson Studios was hacked. The hackers apparently purloined 10 episodes of Orange is the New Black, which Larson Studios produces, then demanded ransom to prevent the shows from being released unofficially.

Larson Studios made the difficult decision to wire more than $50,000 USD in extortion money to the hackers. Yet, the unscrupulous hackers still leaked the stolen episodes on a file sharing website more than a month before the show was set to premiere. Cyber insurance would cover payments to those who threaten to obtain and disclose sensitive information.

Larson Studios made another expensive decision: to hire private data security experts to find out what happened. With cyber liability insurance, the cost of a forensic investigation is included in the policy.

Blog Post: FILMMAKERS, ARE YOU PREPARED WITH CYBER INSURANCE IF YOU GET HACKED?

• MUSICIANS, PROTECT YOUR MUSIC STUDIO WITH CYBER INSURANCE

PROTECT your music studio with cyber insuranceSource: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 635676176, Shutterstock

Don’t think a cyber hack could happen to your music studio? Well, think again! As you gain popularity as a musician/music studio, more hackers become aware that you exist, so you can become even more of a target compared to the average business.

A policy to protect you is available online in 5 minutes, starting at just $300 (subject to change).

Just look at the below real-life examples of music studio hacks to see how real this threat is:

Teen hacked musicians’ websites and servers (2019)

In 2019, a teenager was arrested for hacking into various musicians’ websites and cloud-based servers, stealing unreleased music files and then peddling the recordings for cryptocurrency. This sort of cyber crime causes potentially significant financial losses to the musicians who produce, write and make music, only to have their music released without compensation.

With cyber insurance, the included digital data recovery cost coverage would cover destruction or loss of digital data resulting from a criminal cyber event.

Unreleased Radiohead material hack (2019)

Also in 2019, rock band Radiohead was hacked and unreleased tracks recorded around the time of their acclaimed OK Computer (1997) album were stolen. The hacker demanded $150,000 in ransom from Radiohead not to release the recordings. Instead of paying this ransom, Radiohead just went ahead and made the recordings available online to stream or purchase for about 20 pounds.

Although Radiohead was still able to raise some money releasing the music files earlier than expected, the band likely would have made more if the hack hadn’t occurred in the first place and they had released on their own terms. Moreover, a major band such as Radiohead may be able to absorb a loss such as this, but for less established artists, a hack can be a major financial hit.

Cyber risk insurance includes coverage for business interruption (lost income). The insurance will also cover payments to those who threaten to obtain and disclose sensitive information.

Blog Post: MUSICIANS, PROTECT YOUR MUSIC STUDIO WITH CYBER INSURANCE

• REAL ESTATE AGENTS: ONE MISTAKE COULD COST YOUR CLIENT THEIR LIFE SAVINGS.

Real estate agents: get cyber insuranceEstate agents: Keep your clients smiling by having cyber coverage | Royalty-free stock photo ID: 402629167, Shutterstock

Don’t think a cyber hack could happen to your real estate agency? Well, think again!

STATISTIC: “Cyber scams targeting the real estate sector are on the rise. From 2015 to 2017, there was over a 1,100% rise in the number of cyber scam victims reporting the real estate transaction angle and an almost 2,200% rise in the reported monetary loss.” (FBI report, 2018)

Just look at the below real-life examples of real estate agency hacks to see how real this threat is:

The Colorado Couple:

In 2018, a Colorado couple were ready to finalize the purchase of their dream home, and at closing time wired $272K from their bank, following instructions they had received in an email from – they thought – their real estate settlement company. However, the company’s email account had been hacked, and fraudsters had altered the wiring instruction to make off with the hefty sum.

The couple eventually reached a confidential settlement in a lawsuit against their real estate agent, bank and settlement company.

A narrow escape happened in 2017 to a Russian real estate agent, based in California. Criminals hacked her Gmail account, monitored the correspondence between her and her clients, and waited for the perfect time to strike. It came time to send the remainder of a down payment to close escrow. Using the agent’s email account, the hackers sent a message to one of her clients telling them to wire hundreds of thousands to a fraudulent account. Lucky for the clients, they questioned the fake email. The amount requested was off by just a bit.

If this property title company and/or real estate agent had had cyber insurance, the cost of a forensic investigation would have been included to investigate how, exactly, the hack occurred and how to prevent it from happening again. The third-party cyber liability included in the policy would cover you against lawsuits from third parties due to a cyber attack on your business.

Blog Post: REAL ESTATE AGENTS: ONE MISTAKE COULD COST YOUR CLIENT THEIR LIFE SAVINGS.

• PROTECT YOUR THEATRE COMPANY AND PATRONS WITH CYBER INSURANCE!

Protect Your Theatre Company and Patrons with Cyber Insurance!Source: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 635676176, Shutterstock

Don’t think a cyber hack could happen to your theatre company? Well, think again! Even smaller non-profit theatres can be and have been victims of cyber attacks.

Just look at the below real-life examples of theatre company hacks to see how real this threat is:

Small Catholic theatre company hack (2015)

In 2015, a small Catholic theatre company had its website hacked, and an obscene message was placed on its homepage. After their IT team investigated and determined that there was further malware, the company had to rebuild its website and database from scratch!

Rebuilding a database from scratch is expensive and accomplishing this usually means directing attention/resources away from your business’s normal operations. With cyber liability insurance, the included business interruption coverage would cover lost income and related costs.

The “Pharma hack” on non-profits (2016)

In 2016, a non-profit theatre company was hacked, along with various other non-profit organizations. This hack targeted non-profit websites, surreptitiously displaying messages about buying Viagra and other pharmaceuticals.

Hackers usually got access to these websites via a WordPress security vulnerability, transforming each site into an online pharmacy. They sometimes even built separate webpages within the site to host the pharmacy page or slipped keywords into the site’s content, such as “Viagra” or other drugs.

With Front Row’s cyber insurance product, the included forensic investigation covers the legal, technical and forensic services necessary to assess the cause and scope of the cyber incident.

Blog Post: PROTECT YOUR THEATRE COMPANY AND PATRONS WITH CYBER INSURANCE!

• FITNESS CLUBS/GYMS, PERSONAL TRAINERS: GET CYBER INSURANCE

Don’t think a cyber hack could happen to your fitness club, gym or personal training business? Well, think again! Look at these examples of gym-related hacks to see how real this threat is:

Gym company ransomware breach (2018)

One gym company experienced a serious ransomware breach in 2018. Its franchisees lost all their data and the ability to operate their clubs for 13 days, causing significant losses of revenues, profits, and club members.

These franchisees then launched a lawsuit against company headquarters, claiming that headquarters wrongfully forced them to purchase and use a proprietary club management software developed by an affiliate that failed to meet industry security standards.

Front Row’s cyber insurance policy provides ransomware coverage for payments to those who threaten to disclose sensitive information.

It also includes third-party cyber liability to cover against lawsuits from third parties due to a cyber attack on your business.

Fitness mobile app hack (2018)

Gyms and personal trainers often recommend certain health & wellness mobile apps to their customers. Some gyms and personal trainers even have their own apps built for their customers to use.

In 2018, a popular fitness app suffered a major data breach. The app allows users to monitor their calorie intake and measure it against exercise. Personal details of about 150 million users of the app were compromised in one of the biggest hacks in history!

About a year later, some of the stolen credentials appeared for sale on the dark web.

The company that built the app launched its own investigation into the hack, which is ongoing, but with cyber risk insurance, the included forensic investigation covers the legal, technical and forensic services necessary to assess the cause and scope of the cyber incident.

Blog Post: FITNESS CLUBS/GYMS & PERSONAL TRAINERS: GET CYBER INSURANCE!

• SALON OWNERS: DON’T LET RANSOMWARE DESTROY YOUR BUSINESS.

Salon Owners: Don’t Let Ransomware Destroy Your BusinessSource: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 635676176, Shutterstock

Don’t think a cyber hack could happen to your hair/nail/tanning salon business? Well, think again!

Cybercriminals often target beauty salons with ransomware specifically because they know that these businesses are not necessarily so tech-savvy, and are often running their operations on outdated computer systems.

Just look at the below real-life examples of beauty salon hacks to see how real this threat is:

2019 hair salon ransomware attack

In 2019, a hair salon was hacked with ransomware. Their database containing personal information on ~8,000 clients was encrypted with the ransomware, as well as their scheduling system.

The salon then had to scramble to inform their clients about the hack. They posted this on their Facebook page:

Salon Facebook page note / cyber insurance CanadaSource: examiner.com.au

Cyber risk insurance would cover the cost of a forensic investigation to assess the impact of the attack. It also includes business interruption coverage to cover lost income and related costs when unable to operate due to a cyber event or data loss.

2016 beauty salon ransomware attack

In 2016, a beauty salon experienced a cyber hack, also in the form of ransomware. Employees arriving to work one day tried switching on their computers but instead of booting up properly, their screens were locked, displaying a ransom note.

Salon ransom note / cyber insurance CanadaSource: itv.com | ITV West Country

Losing their data severely affected their business: the salon did not know who had appointments, nor could it call them because that data was encrypted, too.

The hackers were demanding a ransom of $2,700 to unlock the computers. Desperate, the salon decided to pay the ransom.

Cyber liability insurance includes extortion & ransomware coverage for costs associated with payments to those who threaten to disclose sensitive information. It also includes business interruption coverage to cover lost income and related costs when unable to operate due to a cyber event or data loss.

Blog Post: SALON OWNERS: DON’T LET RANSOMWARE DESTROY YOUR BUSINESS. GET INSURED.

• YOUR SMALL BUSINESS IS NOT TOO SMALL TO BE HACKED: PASSWORD SECURITY

Your Small Business is NOT Too Small to be Hacked: Password SecuritySource: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 414663433 | Shutterstock

Don’t think a cyber hack could happen to your small business? Well, think again!

STATISTIC: According to Statistics Canada, 19% of businesses with 10 to 49 employees, and 28% of those with 50 to 249 employees, reported being impacted by a cybersecurity incident that affected operations.

…and for smaller businesses, the fallout from a data breach can be devastating.

Establishing password security guidelines should be one of the first steps that small businesses undertake in developing their cybersecurity strategy. In doing so, companies could immediately benefit from increased protection against more than half of attempted data breaches.

Even technologically advanced companies are susceptible to cyber risks, especially ones that are human-controlled – such as passwords. Just look at the below real-life examples of password breach hacks on small businesses to see how real this threat is:

Australian photography company – MailChimp account hacked (2018)

An Australian photography company’s MailChimp account was hacked in 2018. The hacker imported a spam list and proceeded to email fake invoices from the commandeered account. It is likely that the company’s email account was “protected” by a weak password and did not have two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled.

The hacker sent hundreds of thousands of fake invoices to over 150,000 email addresses around the world, resulting in an unfortunate and embarrassing situation for this photography business.

Hopefully this company had cyber insurance. If they did, they would be able to cover the cost of a forensic investigation to determine how the hack occurred in the first place.

The Couple & their Real Estate Agent – Hacked (2018)

Also in 2018, a Colorado couple were ready to finalize the purchase of their dream home, and at closing time wired $272K from their bank, following instructions they had received in an email from – they thought – their real estate settlement company.

However, the company’s email had been hacked, and fraudsters had altered the wiring instruction to make off with the hefty sum. Again, it is entirely likely that the company’s email account was “protected” by a weak password and did not have 2FA enabled.

The couple eventually reached a confidential settlement in a lawsuit against their real estate agent, bank and settlement company. With cyber liability insurance, the included third-party liability covers you against lawsuits from others due to a cyber attack on your business.

Blog Post: YOUR SMALL BUSINESS IS NOT TOO SMALL TO BE HACKED: PASSWORD SECURITY

• IF YOU’RE HIT WITH RANSOMWARE, YOU’LL WANT CYBER INSURANCE

If You’re Hit with Ransomware, You’ll Want Cyber InsuranceSource: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 659365795 | Shutterstock

Don’t think a ransomware hack could happen to your small business? Well, think again!

STATISTIC: Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that global ransomware damage costs will reach $20 billion USD by 2021, an increase from their estimated damages of $11.5B in 2019 and $8B in 2018.

STATISTIC: Ransomware is expected to attack a business every 11 seconds by the end of 2021.

Perhaps the fastest-growing cybersecurity threat in Canada right now is ransomware, a type of malware (malicious software) that uses sophisticated encryption to block access to a computer, network and/or data until a sum of money is paid.

Ransoms typically range from $800 to $5,000 (but sometimes much more), as most cybercriminals are aware that a business can’t operate without its computer system or important client data and the fee is just manageable enough for most companies to pay.

Just look at the below real-life examples of ransomware attacks on small businesses to see how real this threat is:

Toronto Accounting Firm Ransomware Hack (2020) / who does ransomware target?

An accounting firm based in Toronto was hit by ransomware in 2020. The ransomware encrypted various confidential reports, including an expense form from one of the firm’s main partners.

Additionally, the hackers stole some documents and auctioned them off on the dark web. Typically, hackers auction off such data to increase pressure on victim companies to pay up for decryption keys.

With cyber insurance, digital data recovery cost coverage is included to cover destruction or loss of digital data resulting from a criminal cyber event.

Toronto Dental Clinic Ransomware Hack (2019) / who does ransomware target?

Also in 2019, an anonymous Toronto dental clinic was hit by the Ryuk ransomware attack:

Ryuk ransomware noteThis note, which CBC printed out, was left on the clinic’s computers. (Submitted by clinic)
Source: cbc.ca

The ransomware locked staff out of digital files for at least a day and they had to take notes on paper. The dentist said files on 19 out of the clinic's 22 computers became encrypted.

The hacker initially demanded nine bitcoins (nearly $100,000) to decrypt the dental clinic’s files, but later increased that price to 15 bitcoins ($165,000). The dentist opted not to pay the ransom because they had a good backup in place.

With cyber liability insurance, the cost of a forensic investigation may be included to determine how, exactly, a hack occurred, and to assess the impact of the attack. (Determination of whether or not a forensic investigation will be triggered depends on the circumstances of each claim.)

Blog Post: IF YOU’RE HIT WITH RANSOMWARE, YOU’LL WANT CYBER INSURANCE

• MANDATORY DATA BREACH LAW: GET PROTECTED WITH CYBER INSURANCE

cyber law

The Digital Privacy Act

What does the federal mandatory data breach notification law mean for your small business?

The law, The Digital Privacy Act, went into effect on Nov 1, 2018, and applies to all businesses that hold identifying information of employees, customers, members, or vendors. In the case of a breach, business owners are required to notify the affected individuals as well as the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. It’s easy to think that these risks and responsibilities only apply to large businesses, but in fact ‘personal information’ can include something as small as an email address as well as credit card details. As the skills of hackers have grown, it’s become an important part of business management to understand and mitigate the risks in the digital world, no matter the size of the company.

Research shows that roughly 30% of small businesses have been targeted by hackers because their online security is often not as robust as that of a large corporation.  Apart from reputational damage, which can ruin small businesses, there can be significant costs associated with fixing the breach after legal bills are paid, IT professionals hired, and staff time accounted for as they divert from their normal duties to attend to the crisis.

What can a small business owner do to protect his/her business from cyber hackers? Front Row Insurance Brokers provides cheap online cyber insurance coverage that protects against hacking, theft, fraud, business interruption, and legal, technical, or forensic services. Hackinsure starts from only $300 CAD annually (subject to change) and takes ~5 minutes to get your policy.

Blog Post: MANDATORY DATA BREACH LAW: GET PROTECTED WITH CYBER INSURANCE

• OFFICE CONTENTS INSURANCE AND THE NEED FOR CYBER INSURANCE

Cyber insurance protects your business from revenue loss and lawsuits sparked by a breach of cyber security and computer crimes. Every business office insurance policy should include cyber insurance.

Office contents insuranceWith an ever growing movement towards technology and new media, businesses need protection against online hackers. Data breach can include document spillage, client information exposure and unwelcome access to sensitive information. Cyber hacks are unpredictable and untraceable, but they are growing in occurrence and stealth. Businesses with an online presence are recommended to calculate the risk of losing revenue due to cyber attacks and whether the business can afford to lose money, clients, shareholders and even reputation. 

Big corporations and small businesses alike are all vulnerable to these attacks. Citigroup, for example, faced a $2.7 million loss in revenue when sensitive information of over 200,000 of their customers was accessed in 2011. Despite this being on the larger scale of hacks in history, any business with documents online face the risk of exposing important information that may lead to lawsuits down the road.

ALSO: WORKPLACE OFFICE INSURANCE (WITH CYBER)

At Front Row Insurance our commercial office insurance package has the option to include Cyber Insurance, a coverage which lessens and protects your business from the aftermath of a cyber attack. Most of these breaches can take months to undo and thousands of dollars to compensate, but cyber insurance can reduce these setbacks. Visit our website for more information about our office contents insurance package.

For further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us directly or see more office contents information here.

Blog Post: OFFICE CONTENTS INSURANCE AND THE NEED FOR CYBER INSURANCE

• INSURANCE BUSINESS CANADA INTERVIEWS FRONT ROW ON CYBER INSURANCE

Insurance Business Canada interviews Front Row on Cyber InsuranceOriginally printed by: Bethan Moorcraft July 18, 2018

Approximately 99.8% of Canadian companies are considered small or medium-sized businesses (SMBs), employing 64% of private sector workers in Canada. The impact of SMBs on the Canadian economy is huge, and yet many smaller businesses struggle to protect themselves adequately against financial loss.

The complex realm of cyber insurance is an area where small business understanding falls short. Statistics suggest about 43% of all cyberattacks target small businesses and yet 90% of small businesses do not have cyber insurance.

This common coverage gap is a top-of-mind issue for insurers around the world, with many suggesting educational and awareness campaigns as the key fix.

But what if the cyber insurance products in the market are the real problem here? What if small business owners can’t identify a product that they think meets their needs, budget and service expectations?

Vancouver-based Front Row Insurance recently launched a cyber product aimed specifically at the small business owner. It’s a fully-automated online policy, written by Chubb, which is very low touch and has even lower limits. The starter limit is $100,000, which can be purchased at a premium of $300, and the maximum limit is $1 million.

The policy can be obtained online in just two or three minutes.   

“If you look at a graphic designer that’s billing $50,000 a year from their home office, the difference between a cyber policy that costs $800 and one that costs $300 is really significant – it’s 1% of their income,” said David Hamilton, CEO and president at Front Row Insurance. “We found that really small businesses, with one to three people, understand the need for cyber coverage but don’t want to pay a lot for it. Our $300 starter premium is very palatable and provides what we feel is an excellent starter policy for small business proprietors in Canada.”

So far, responses to the policy, which launched in April, have been positive. It has drawn particular interest from younger gig economy workers who are looking to bypass intermediaries and conduct business at any time of day when they can grasp a few spare moments. The online solution includes step-by-step tips and explanation points to help customers through the buying process.

“Take the example of the graphic designer. The Graphic Designers of Canada association has around 3,700 members, every one of whom should have a cyber policy. Why? If you’re a graphic designer and you’re taking business material from a client in order to design a logo for them, and that material somehow gets exposed due to a cyber incident, your client may sue you for not protecting that material,” Hamilton explained.

Blog Post: INSURANCE BUSINESS CANADA INTERVIEWS FRONT ROW ON CYBER INSURANCE

• TRANSFER CYBER RISK TO CYBER ATTACK INSURANCE

cyber attack insurance

Cyber Attack Insurance

As noted in the media in recent years, cyber attacks have become an increased threat to the cyber security of a business. While the most prominent cases report have been attacks against large companies such as Target, Sony and Home Depot; in fact, 43% of attacks are occurring against small businesses. Of the small businesses attacked, 60% never recover after a hack and go out of business within 6 months because of a lack of cyber security.

Fortunately, there is a way that you can protect yourself against cyber crime by purchasing Cyber Insurance otherwise known as Data Breach Insurance. Front Row Insurance has recently launched a new product called Hackinsure.

Hackinsure offers the following cyber security protection:

  • Comprehensive Cyber Liability: Combines third-party cyber-liability (your customers/clients) and first-party (you and your business) and cyber crime expense.
  • Digital Data Recovery Costs: Data breach coverage. Protects against destruction or loss of digital data resulting from a criminal or fraudulent cyber event.
  • Business Interruption: Continuing normal operating & payroll expenses, and net profit before income tax that would have been earned had no interruption in service of the computer system occurred.
  • Extortion & Ransomware: Provides coverage for costs associated with payments to those who threaten to disclose sensitive information.
  • Forensic Investigation: Covers the legal, technical and forensic services necessary to assess the cause and scope of the cyber incident.

Coverage starts at $300 for the year, but you can save $50 by using the following coupon code: DICEHACK$50. (not valid in QC, ON, SK)

Get a Quote Online In 2 Mins.

Blog Post: TRANSFER CYBER RISK TO CYBER ATTACK INSURANCE

Cyber Insurance 101: How to Protect Your Computer Systems and Data

Learn about all the different facets of cyber insurance and how to best protect your small business from cyber attacks. These informative articles include “4 Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks in Creative Industries” and “Cyber Insurance for Non-Profits”, among others!

** eBook includes coupon codes with discounts on various insurance policies amounting to $265 CAD IN SAVINGS, including $50 in cyber insurance policy savings. Coupons valid in Canada only; QC, ON, SK are excluded. **

DISCLAIMER: Informational statements regarding insurance coverage are for general description purposes only. These statements do not amend, modify or supplement any insurance policy. Consult the actual policy or your broker for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, exclusions, products, services and programs which may be available to you. Your eligibility for particular products and services is subject to the final determination of underwriting qualifications and acceptance by the insurance underwriting company providing such products or services. This website does not make any representations that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss, or type of claim or loss, under any policy. Whether coverage exists or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any policy depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss and all applicable policy wording.

Amazon Associates Disclosure: Front Row Insurance is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. This post may contain affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you.

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