Executive & Global Insights

Cyber Breaches and Cyber Liability

Friday, January 17, 2014

By now you have all heard about the cyber breach that struck Target Corp. and 110 million payment cards. Did you know that Target did not discover the breach? The credit card processors noticed a surge in fraudulent transactions on cards that were used at Target. While Target was not the biggest or most damaging data breach ever, its timing sure got everyone’s attention. Target was just one of about 600 publicly disclosed data breaches in 2013. If 600 publicly disclosed breaches happened, how many more breaches have taken place that never got publicity?

If you think it can’t happen to your agency, think again. Malware is tied to 74% of all breaches. The cyber criminals distribute malware via email. These criminals can send as few as 3 emails and they will have a better than 50% chance of getting at least one click. Once the infected link is open your system could be overrun. Consider how much you use your Smartphone and laptop. Are they encrypted? What type of valuable information is stored on these devices?

As I write this, there is news that Snapchat, the disappearing- message service popular with young people, suffered a security breach. Cyber criminals grabbed the usernames and phone numbers of some 4.6 million of its users on 12/31/2013. The very next day Skype reported a cyber breach on their social media property. These attackers warned of stealing user’s accounts and selling them.

Could your agency survive a cyber breach? The average cost of a security breach can be somewhere in the neighborhood of $188 per record. If you have a client base of 800, a cyber attack could cost your agency upwards of $150,000. Do you have more than 800 records?

If you are interested in a Cyber Liability quote, download the Hiscox Privacy and Data Breach application (click here). Fill out the form and return to me at gmattingly@executiveandglobal.com.