Cyber Security 101

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Larkin Addison Specialty Insurance Services helps lessen the “byte” of a cyber security breach.

During my yearly physical, I couldn’t help but notice that every bit of information I gave the doctor and the staff was entered into a tablet. Tap, tap, swipe, swipe. From symptoms to prescriptions, every detail of my visit was digitally signed, sealed, and delivered.

It should not come as much of a surprise. I conveniently perform the majority of transactions, such as banking, shopping, even “socializing” on the internet via my computer, smartphone, or tablet.

The ease of paying bills and posting a generic birthday meme on a relative-you-don’t-even-like’s Facebook from the palm of your hand, unfortunately, comes with some risk.

Records equal your identity. A person’s date of birth, phone number, address, Social Security number, credit card information, and other identifying data are being hacked at this very moment, according to Ed McLin of Larkin Addison LLC.

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The Identity Theft Resource Center reports there has been a total of 932 cyber security breaches this year, exposing 34.3 million records.

Suzanne Barber from the Center for Identity at the University of Texas at Austin believes there is a strong link between identity theft and terrorism.

“Terrorists depend on stolen or fake passports, and other forms of identification obtained through fraudulent means,” Barber said. Terrorism and national security aside, the damage and inconvenience of a breach varies for individuals and businesses.

While individuals could spend months contesting the fraudulent charges made from their stolen credit card, the breach of an organization or business like a clinic, however, is a HIPAA violation, and could result in thousands of dollars in fines.

In 2015, Target gave customers a year of free credit monitoring and a 10 percent discount during the holidays after enduring a data breach of an estimated 100 million records from 2013. In the end, this breach cost Target around $100 million. Could your business afford to do the same?

Although it is difficult to prevent a breach, there is protocol a business can take to ease the damage. Since 2014, Larkin Addison has provided commercial and specialty insurance products for small- to medium-sized businesses.

Purchasing a cyber liability policy from Larkin Addison can help manage the financial hurt of such a breach. A cyber insurance policy is like any other insurance policy. A premium is paid every month and coverage is provided to protect the policyholder and those affected by an incident. In a nutshell, a cyber liability policy protects your company from the liability from being sued by your clients if you experience a breach or if their information is negligently handled.

The cost of a cyber liability insurance policy from Larkin Addison varies. A comprehensive analysis of your risk can be done for your business. “A lot of breaches aren’t hacks, but can arise from losing laptops or a disgruntled employee after termination,” McLin said. A Cyber Protection Policy from Larkin Addison can help protect your business and your customers from the potential liability arising from employee misuse, negligence, and the improper disposal of information and lost or stolen equipment.

“Most people or companies see insurance as an unnecessary expense, something you hope you never have to use,” McLin said, until you do. Statistics show that the average cost of a data breach has increased to $5.9 million.

Although a cyber insurance policy is not required, it is necessary. As a business, there is a duty to secure the information provided to you by your customer, and to notify them when their information has been compromised. Larkin Addison will enable your business with experienced breach response and is ready to assist you with incident and crisis management.

For more information on a cyber insurance policy or other specialty insurance products, contact the insurance specialists at Larkin Addison at (956) 232-2700 or visit larkinaddison.com