From Yahoo to Marriott, the media has covered several different high-profile data breaches over the last few years and for good reason. One of the biggest threats to your company’s financial well-being and overall reputation is cyber crime. And no firm is immune—small companies face many of the same challenges as large corporations.

Thankfully, there are ways to reduce your risk and take care of your customers. Here is what you need to know about cyber threats and how insurance helps protect your business.


What Are Cyber Threats?

There are varying degrees of risk associated with cybercrime. Each one has its own unique merits, but the damage done to your business is often just as large no matter what the type. However, it is still important to differentiate between the different elements of the crimes themselves.

Examples of the most common varieties of cyber threats include:

  • Malware: Installed computer software that has the intent of damaging or disabling computer systems.

  • Ransomware: Installed computer software that is designed to block access to a computer system until some type of demand—usually monetary—is met.

  • Cyber Theft: Access to computer systems with the intent of stealing information. This often includes contact information, banking information, credit card numbers, social security numbers, customer database records, etc.

In some cases, the attack includes multiple different types of elements all at once. These are often the situations you hear about where an employee opens a malware infested link that provides data theft access to criminals, etc.


How To Protect Your Firm?

Cyber insurance provides guidance in assisting with the prevention of a cyber incident. In many cases, it also includes support should an incident occur and coverage if that incident affects the policyholder company’s customers.


What Are Some Common Guidelines for Preventing Cyber Crime?

It is in the best interest of cyber insurers to assist in cyber crime prevention. Many insurance providers offer a list of guidelines to help companies reduce the chance of malware, ransomware, or cyber theft attack. Common items include:

  • Suggested internet and computer policies to keep employees from unknowingly allowing cyber threats to access firm computer systems.

  • Firm education opportunities that instill a foundation of understanding of cyber threats and prevention to all employees.

  • Many insurers will also assist a firm’s IT department to provide information on how to avoid data breaches and IT best practices for servers and other hardware.

  • Many policies also provide resources to assist IT departments with increasing their security presence and providing up to date data on IT best practices. The information provided during this process helps guide responsible parties at both the server and workstation levels.


What Should You Do After a Potential Cyber Crime Threat?

After a cyber crime incident, it is of the utmost importance to communicate an incident to employees and customers in a timely manner. Customers and employees need to be immediately aware of a cyber incident so that steps can be taken for correction and prevention of further loss. Cyber insurance policies allow you to rely on the firm’s insurance agency for instructions on best practices for effective and efficient communication.

Should a cyber incident occur, insurers may provide steps that guide a firm through rectifying the situation. In fact, most insurers will also provide guidance on responsive assistance to detect and remove active and potential reoccurring threats. Insurance companies can also supply the insured with digital security remediation plans.

Post intrusion support from your insurance provider can be very useful. The ability to handle public-relations is a daunting task. With the help of your insurance provider, it is manageable. Insurance carriers can provide you with reparations for cyber extortion if the firm experienced a ransomware attack. The policy should also replace stolen money from any type of electronic robbery.


What Do Cyber Insurance Company Policies Typically Cover?

Most cyber insurance policies, cover many of the fiduciary responsibilities of the firm and add support to a firm’s customers and employees in the event of a cyber attack. If a security breach compromises a firm’s employees or customers the insurance provider could aid in the cost of identity recovery. In addition, cyber security policies can provide the policyholder and their customers with credit monitoring software to alert those monitors of flags in their personal lives. Each cyber insurer seems to have their own set of benefits, so it is important to read your policy carefully.


How Do I Purchase Cyber Insurance?

Purchasing cyber insurance is much easier than most business owners realize. All that you need to do is contact your insurance agent and answer a few questions about your current IT program and a few different aspects of your business. From there, he or she is able to give you an accurate rate quote and provide information on how to fully protect your company from cybercrime.

Once a cyber insurance policy goes into effect, the insurer works with you to ensure your firm is following all applicable best practices. Often, this includes employee training or system upgrades like those previously mentioned.


No matter the size of a firm, cyber security is of the utmost importance. The loss of company and/or employee information, ransomware, or theft of money via online means could severely affect business operations. Having a cyber liability insurance policy assures the policyholder assistance with prevention, remediation, and cleanup should a cyber security threat occur.