Cyber Criminals Steal More Than Data

Is Your Company Protected?

Airplanes, ATM machines, automobiles, cash registers, industrial machinery, medical equipment – all controlled by computers.

It can be a bit overwhelming when you stop to realize how many opportunities cyber criminals have to hack into operational systems in nearly every industry. Whether it’s a bored teenager looking for a challenge, a disgruntled worker or more sophisticated criminals or terrorists. As William Bell, Senior Vice President/Environmental for Liberty International Underwriters says, there are certainly plenty of people motivated to wreak very real havoc. Bell’s assessment of the energy, manufacturing and other industrial sectors in particular should sound alarms for all industries when he says they “lack best practice standards when it comes to securing their automated processes.”

Nearly all operational technologies are at risk of damage or compromise. If you consider the implications for critical infrastructure nationwide, including power and chemical plants, oil and gas facilities, chemical and water installations, hospitals, transportation and more, it’s not hard to conjure up the image of a Hollywood-style disaster. As Bell says, “It’s significant to lose 100,000 customers’ Social Security numbers, but can you imagine if a waste treatment facility’s operations get hacked, gates open, and thousands of tons of raw sewage go flowing down a local river?”

So it’s clear that every company needs to look beyond just the office computers, laptops and mobile devices when it comes to cyber security. While potential theft of confidential data has received most of the press in recent years, no one can afford to overlook the physical risks of a cyber breach as well – when a water sensor is disabled and a facility floods, when machine safety systems are over-ridden or when HVAC or fire systems are deactivated, for example.

Of course, even with the strongest risk management and cyber security efforts in place, no company can avoid all potential disaster. While Cyber Liability provides reimbursement for managing and mitigating the cost of a cyberattack and the loss of data or associated liability, it’s also important to include sufficient insurance coverage for the physical consequences of a breach. For example, Environmental Liability, which Bell says “is still by and large viewed as a discretionary purchase,” would cover issues such as property damage, bodily injury and cleanup of any pollution resulting from a computer compromise.

Depending on your industry, there are a variety of applicable coverages you might want to consider, and MJ is ready to help pinpoint which would provide the added protection your company requires. It’s easy to get started – just contact us to initiate an assessment for your own company.