Data is the one of your most important assets. Providing privacy through the protection of that data can reflect upon the service you offer your members. The reputation and service that unions (as with all businesses) provide can affect the quality and future of an organization. A simple glitch in an IT system is enough to paralyze and expose data to the public, as what happened in this harrowing incident. This is why protecting data is so important. And therefore, why it is also important to protect your resources by seeking appropriate coverage with cyber liability insurance.
Over the coming months, I hope to detail the specific areas that all unions should be considering and discussing with both their security professionals as well as their brokers. But to begin with, it’s important that union representatives be made aware of the very existence of this treat.
Top reasons for cyber liability insurance
Unions have specific and unique security issues. They may be in charge and responsible for holding thousands of files containing any number of key pieces of membership information, such as:
- Personal banking info
- Social insurance numbers
- Private health records
- Income statements
- Home addresses and phone numbers
When you consider the dire effects of having these personal pieces of info fall into the wrong hands, the risk is staggering. And when you consider the expense of having to remedy and remunerate, notify and deal with the fallout from an actual cyber incident, the financial effect could be devastating. Contingency planning and risk management work hand-in-hand with cyber liability insurance in order to address the two main areas of concern:
- Developing a preventative security plan to address areas of exposure, and;
- Designing a tailored cyber liability insurance policy.
Why is this a new area of concern?
If your policy was written over ten years ago, the chances are high that it doesn’t include adequate coverage. Cyber crime was still in its infancy and the insurance industry was slow in catching up to the growing threat. Much in the same way that global warming issues have permeated the policy consideration of the major insurers, cyber security is quickly becoming a hot button topic in the same way.
Your policy was most likely designed with traditional security concerns in mind such as theft and privacy of member information. So you would think that the coverage would extend into the virtual world of information protection as well. However, computer breaches are now considered a separate and unique event. This crime does not fit under the umbrella of the older wording in most policies.
Cyber liability insurance for business interruption
On top of the responsibility to ensure membership privacy, unions are also responsible for keeping their operations running, despite the confusion and fallout that occurs if a security breach occurs. When a computer system goes down, traditional policy wording may not take into account the interruption to your service when it does. Technically related attacks such as a computer virus, hacker, defacement to your website, a break in the firewall, downtime to repair key computer systems, can be considered a separate issue apart from older business interruption coverage.
These are issues that should be first discussed with your security personnel in order to determine what threats are unique to your operation, beyond what you may have heard in the news and on the Internet. The level of threat to your members and therefore your reputation is commensurate with the level of security you have in place as well as the level of private information for which you are responsible.
Talk to a Hallmark cyber liability insurance broker today to receive specialized information on what protection exists for you and your database. Learn what responsibilities you own and why it is your obligation to protect membership info.