We see it every day, a person working on a laptop at a local coffee shop or a person making a phone call on their smart phone. The environment we live in is becoming less “wired” every second of the day. Many people can work from home or be on the road away from the office and access any company info, software, records or document they want. While this makes many of our lives more efficient and easier, it creates a whole new risk to many losses people and businesses have taken for granted.

The risks are abundant and happen on a very frequent basis, the problem is many organizations are not aware of the dangers their network, records, security and reputation face. A simple example is an employee losing a smart phone. That device gives the person who takes possession full access to company email, database, client records or financial information and the list goes on. These risks can create a world of hurt and the costs escalate quickly.

The risks don’t stop there. If you have website content you can be targeted for copyright violations. An employee posting on a social media page can make you liable for defamation, or if you pass along a virus, even unknowingly, jeopardizing another company’s information you are in danger. These are all risks that will become more and more relevant as the we see the growth of working in a wireless environment.

While most standard business insurance policies include general liability, many times there is no or very limited coverage at all for the risks mentioned above. Cyber insurance, or Internet liability insurance, is what has become available for businesses to protect themselves and their customers. According to Symantec Corp and a 2010 survey, 2100 businesses, 73% of small and midsize companies have experienced a cyber attack. Despite the presence of these risks, only 33% of private companies have proper cyber-liability coverage.

The risks are abundant and global, with hackers all over the world anyone’s information can be accessible, whether your company is big or small. Verizon reports that 50% of cyberattacks occurred at companies with less than a 1,000 employees, while companies with 11 to 100 accounted for 26% of all attacks. The good news is a typical policy for a small business is affordable, only costing between $1,000 and $1,500 for a $100,000 policy. These policies can provide coverage for experts to better help secure your network and at the same time provide coverage for public relations expenses needed to repair a damaged reputation.

As many companies grow and gain higher profiles, the damages can only get more expensive and these claims are not cheap. For example, according to the Ponemon Institute the average cost of breached data from a laptop is $49,246. With all the facts and figures many experts are confident cyber liability will become the norm for companies along with their general liability and property policies. With the daily changes in our technology and the way we access information, it is worth examining your current coverage to make sure your business is well positioned to avoid these risks. These risks not only jeopardize important company information but they can jeopardize the security of your company and the assets you have worked so hard to earn.

UNICO Group, Inc has worked hard on building a strong understanding of the risks associated with cyber liability and the coverages that are available to our clients. We offer many options that focus on identifying the risks within an organization and finding coverages that are ideal to the industry, size and technology of the client we are working with.

by Paul Hughes
UNICO Group, Inc. 402.339.3237 – www.unicogroup.com