Cyber Liability and The Costly Aftermath of Cyberattacks
When I was a kid, I was quite the “collector” of random items. I use this term because it’s a lot softer than the word “hoarder”, which – thanks largely to reality TV – has earned itself a pretty negative connotation.
The truth is, as a kid, I felt a sense of accomplishment when I’d discover an interesting looking flower or pebble, and I didn’t want to part with them. They were my little discoveries, and I had grown attached to them. In a way, I had earned them.
Whether it was rocks, marbles, paper clips, cool gel pens or whatever I could get my eager hands on, I would leave school assured that all of my “valuables”, were stowed away safely in the little lockbox that was in my cubby hole in my junior kindergarten class.
That was until one day, I came back from recess to discover that my cubby hole was empty. To this day, I’m not entirely sure what happened to my lockbox, but I definitely remember the feeling of having lost everything I had worked so hard on getting.
This is something I carry with me today, and it’s often how I look at the detrimental effects that a malicious cyber attack can have on a business. Except, in this case, it’s much, much more than rocks and gel pens going missing. In many cyber attacks, it’s financial records, sensitive client data, or even personal data that is stolen.
The scariest part is that, much like when my lockbox went missing, you never see it coming.
Cyber attacks are silent, but the effects they have on any business of any size are astronomical. At any given time, we can be exposed to hundreds of thousands of cyber threats without even knowing it. Before you can do anything about it, a successful attack can compromise the sensitive data within your business’s network.
Businesses can suffer financial losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars, as a result of ransomware attacks (where files are encrypted by an attacker and then released upon receiving some form of payment), or phishing techniques (where an email or phone call is disguised as a legitimate form of communication from a legitimate business, often asking for money). Obviously, you can imagine what kind of effect this would have on any business owner, regardless of business size or industry; It’s too much to take a chance on.
I wish that I had some sort of protection for my lockbox when I was a kid. Of course, being able to predict this unfortunate event from happening in the first place would have been just the kind of superpower a 6-year-old kid would love to have, but it’s not realistic. What is realistic, is the proactive measures that businesses can implement today for cyber attacks and cyber crimes that can happen tomorrow.
While lockboxes and knick-knacks are things of the past, a business owner’s reputation, financials, client files and intellectual property are very much things of today. It is important to consider protecting your business with cyber liability insurance. It might not be top of mind right now, but when you need it, you’ll be glad you have it in place.