There are practically no businesses in Northern Ireland that have not been transformed in some way by the digital revolution. People and businesses are communicating, learning, and transacting online and this trend, accelerated by Covid-19 lockdowns, has become the new normal.
However, such rapid transformation has opened up a new frontier of risk for the business community. Most companies in Northern Ireland have adapted their operations to take advantage of the online opportunity but many have not done the groundwork to ensure their business is protected from the myriad threats they now face.
Online threats can take a number of forms but the most significant will result in a data breach, that is the leaking or theft of data that is held by your organisation. Data breaches can be a result of a ‘cyber-attack’ and much is written about the online threat from hackers, spyware and cybercrime attacks such as phishing and ransomware. However, data breaches are very often caused by simple human or technical error.
While a list of emails being downloaded without authorisation from your servers might seem like a ‘victimless crime,’ this in fact breaches your customers' right to privacy. Online operators can extract and combine small pieces of personal data to build detailed profiles of users that further breach an individual’s right to privacy. As a result, governments around the world have enacted legislation that empowers data regulators to investigate and sanction organisations and individuals who are responsible for data breaches.
Regulators like the UK’s Information Commissioners Office have levied fines of up to £20 million to organisations who were found to be negligent in their duties to protect their customers' data.
The risk to your organisation isn’t just financial. The reputational damage of being incapable of protecting your clients' data is often more difficult to recover from following a breach.
Finally, a data breach can often result in a significant loss of future revenue as users can be locked out of essential services and detailed customer data is often the basis for managerial decision-making and rebuilding your data can take a long time.
What is cyber insurance?
Cyber insurance relates to a range of insurance products and services that specifically looks to mitigate the risks associated with the internet, online communication and digital infrastructure such as hardware, software and web-based services.
What does cyber insurance cover?
Cyber insurance policies themselves typically relate to covering costs associated with the loss of data and the effect of this on your business and your customers' businesses or personal lives.
Cyber insurance can cover losses such as
- damage or loss of data, digital assets or software
- interruption to your business caused by network downtime
- customer communication about a data breach (which is often legally mandated)
- damage to your reputation and costs of re-building trust with your customers
- theft of money, equipment or other forms of electronic theft
- investigation fees, legal defence costs and fines from regulatory bodies
- compensation to affected parties including for interruption to their businesses due to denial of access or failure of software or systems
Bespoke policies can be created to cover the unique risks your organisation faces based on the type of data you process or your specific business model.
Who needs cyber insurance?
Any business using any form of online communication (such as email, social media or cloud-based systems) or that stores, processes or uses data such as names, addresses, email addresses or other personally identifiable information, would do well to bolster their cyber-security policies and this should include cyber-insurance.
An awareness of the risks presented by online business activity is essential and at ABL our experienced cyber-risk management team will help you build an accurate picture of your risk exposure. This sort of detailed understanding will allow you to remedy many immediate risks and purchase appropriate cover to mitigate those that cannot be fixed immediately.
Why choose ABL Group for cyber insurance?
A Trusted Partner
ABL Group is Northern Ireland’s largest commercial insurance broker and risk management advisory and we are proud to call some of the country’s best-known companies and most respected institutions our clients and partners.
Local Knowledge - National Buying Power
As a company native to Northern Ireland, we have detailed knowledge of the sometimes complex regulatory framework faced by companies based here. We have detailed experience with cross-border claims for local companies operating across Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Great Britain and beyond.
ABL is part of GRP Group, a UK and Ireland-wide group of insurance intermediaries, giving us access to a range of insurance products unavailable to many of our local competitors.
We pride ourselves on being a people-focused organisation and put our clients' needs at the centre of everything we do. We understand that every business is unique and your dedicated account manager will work hard to fully understand your needs before sourcing an insurance and risk solution that is customised to you.
An integrated solution
An important aspect of cyber insurance is your risk management and mitigation strategies. As an insurance broker with an in-house risk management team, we will work with you to help you identify, understand and mitigate the unique risks your business faces and design a cyber insurance policy that will cover the rest.
Whatever your business, we’ll take care of it.
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Contact our cyber-insurance specialists
Call our specialist cyber-insurance team to get a better understanding of your risk exposure and to protect your business.