Cyber Liability Insurance is misunderstood, and as a result, it is not purchased by most commercial insureds. However, it is the most important insurance a business can buy, and protects against the highest average per loss of any other insurance they can buy.
As I speak to industry groups, associations, and chambers of commerce across America, I often am told the same thing over and over again, no matter, the size or class of the organization, municipality, or business: “we are in the cloud”. Fantastic- there are a lot of angels here amongst us!
All jokes aside, the cloud offers some excellent conveniences to every day commercial insureds:
- Modern, current, updated and effective virus protection, filters, and firewalls
- Encryption of data
- Storage Space
- Ease of Access
- Reduce overall IT costs
Having and doing business in the cloud is an essential part of most businesses today, and business is efficient and safe to do. The reasons listed are excellent benefits of cloud-based services. But like all things new these days, it comes with it a dangerous loophole that is very difficult to close.
Protecting our possessions is something we spend a lifetime doing. We keep our purses and wallets secure. We put our money into a bank. We lock our car doors. We close our windows and lock the doors in our house. We make an everyday effort at keeping our “stuff” secure.
However, a locked door is only as good as those who lock the doors. Being in the cloud is like having a teenager in the house. You go to bed at night, and you lock up the house. Your teenager is still out at work, or out with the friends, and comes home, parks the car in the garage, and leaves the garage door open all night long.
It’s an invitation for the neighborhood to come on over and take what you find. The same is said of your own employees. You have built your beautiful business on your employees, and each is a card. Therefore, you have built a house of cards. All it takes is for one card to fail and the entire house collapses around you.
If your business is in the cloud:
- Be diligent to never give out your access information, user ids, passwords, or any other information needed to gain access to information stored into the cloud.
- Discuss any requests for such information from people you trust and know, like the IT department employees, over the phone first.
- Train employees to keep the garage door shut and do not click links they were not expecting and from people they do not know.
Simple changes to user behaviors will save a lot of aggravation, costs, and potential financial ruin down the road.