More now than ever, there is an exponentially increasing concern regarding data breach and cybercrime. No business is immune from the threat of computer crime and electronic fraud incidents resulting in the theft of confidential client information, funds, and other sensitive data – and these criminals are only getting more creative and sophisticated.
The good news is that the insurance industry offers various policies in the market, that businesses and individuals can compare. Here at Landy we work hands on with clients to consider all options to tailor a policy designed to mitigate the cyber risk specific to your company. For example, not every Real Estate firm needs protection against cybercrime if escrow or trustee funds are misappropriated – however Data protection should be a major concern for any industry and every business (credit applications, social security numbers, emails, bank account information, etc.).
Coverage can include notification costs, credit monitoring, public relations expenses, cyber extorsion, and more. Many carriers also now offer Risk Management/Cybersecurity features and benefits in their policy package, at no extra premium – giving insureds the opportunity to take advantage of employee training, forensic teams, 24/7 incident response experts. Cybercrime has become so common, for ANY sized organization, that it is extremely important to take the precautions and set up safeguards in hope it will reduce the damage when it happens – and that is when the insurance policy is triggered to pay out the damages, protecting the financial stability of your agency.
These criminals are only getting smarter, cybercrime and data breach incidents are only becoming more and more the norm, and human error is unfortunately inevitable – and when it happens, it can be extremely scary and very invasive. All organizations are vulnerable, but there are absolutely steps and precautions you can take to be less vulnerable.
What happens if a link that looks safe is clicked, a hacker gets into your system and encrypts all your files? They communicate they will not unlock them until you pay a ransom. If you have insurance in place, experts are ready to negotiate with the criminals and pay out that ransom to restore your data and get you back to running your business. Ransomware happens so often these days that large corporations have separate Cryptocurrency specifically set aside to pay out immediately when this happens and be reimbursed by the insurance company. However, these hackers do not discriminate against size –we have seen a huge uptick in hackers infiltrating small businesses in the last few years, with cybercrime in general increasing by over 200% since 2010.
It doesn’t stop at ransomware. In fact, it is usually the result of other events that lead to ransomware. When internet related crimes started happening, maybe these criminals were only getting into your email and stealing names and DOB’s…well now, that’s just where they start. They gain access to emails, breach the system, steal information, pretend to be someone they’re not and transfer funds to their own (completely untraceable) bank account.
Real Estate agencies handle extremely sensitive and personal client data and handle very large transactions. Your clients and your business are at risk of theft – and you are responsible when it happens. The threat to your industry is very real. Landy Insurance can help – We have access to extremely competitively priced Cyber markets who offer comprehensive coverage and extensive risk management services specific to the Real Estate industry.
Joanmarie C. Berry – Landy Insurance Agency
Director of Marketing and Sales