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Cyber liability insurance covers the time and money you have to spend dealing with a cyber-attack. It also covers the costs of putting your business back together following a hack or data breach.
Included in this is cover for cyber extortion, where a cybercriminal cripples your business with ‘ransomware’ and demands payment to release your systems or website. Your insurance pays the ransom and brings in a specialist consultant to manage the situation for you.
Specifically, cyber liability covers:
The costs of investigating a cyber-attack
The costs of repairing, restoring and replacing your website, networks and data
Your lost income if a cyber-attack stops you trading
Your legal fees involved in disclosing a breach to the ICO
The costs of telling your customers
Your legal fees and compensation costs if you’re sued for losing individuals’ private data
The PR costs of managing your reputation and dealing with the fallout
Without cyber insurance, these are all things your business will have to pay for. Insurers call these direct losses ‘first-party’ costs. That’s actually a good thing because, unlike professional indemnity insurance, cyber liability insurance policies don’t depend on your customers’ losses (‘third-party’ costs) for your cover to kick in.
That depends, to some extent, on how much IT infrastructure you have. More hardware means more to repair or replace. More software means more data to restore.
You need to take into account the way you do business. Can you still trade without a website or access to other systems? Can you survive without email? Do you take payments online? Do you hold particularly sensitive customer data or images? What will be the consequences for both you and your customers if you’re hacked or held to ransom?
And don’t forget the legal costs. Informing regulators and customers you’ve been hacked costs as much as a solicitor charges you – and we all know how cheap they are.
Whatever conclusion you come to, you can guarantee a cyber-attack will cost you money. And because exactly how much money is very difficult to quantify (because every attack is different), you’re well advised to go for as much as you can possibly afford.
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