Protecting your Business from Computer Viruses, Data Loss, Identity Theft and Cyber Crime
The ubiquity of the Internet has allowed businesses to distribute information to an unlimited number of people in just a matter of seconds. However, the very benefits of the Internet that breed instant communications also expose companies, their employees and their customers to significant threats, such as the loss of intellectual property, disclosure of private information, malicious viruses and worms that halt service, and personal identity theft. These problems often result in business disruptions, lost productivity, increased infrastructure costs and expensive legal proceedings brought on by employees and customers.

Companies generally believe the biggest threats come from the outside, but according to recent industry research, insiders cause more than 50% of information leaks. “There is no limit to the kinds of businesses that can fall victim. Any company that operates an Intranet, engages in e-commerce or electronically stores sensitive customer or employee information is at risk,” notes Beth Romanowski, CIC, AU, an insurance marketer and technology specialist for The NIA Group’s Technology Division. “Basic steps, like limiting employee access to highly sensitive information and mandating complex passwords that change periodically can help reduce risk dramatically,” she notes.

Even with these backup recommendations, however, there is always the risk that someone can break into your system and damage or steal all of your data. Discovering intellectual property and identity theft too late can threaten the life of a business, with damaged or stolen data resulting in millions of dollars of financial loss—something many companies could not withstand.

“To offset the real potential for this kind of loss, businesses need specialized network security protection, which is not usually included in traditional business property, general liability or professional liability coverages,” notes Elio Vecchiarelli, vice president of sales management and a technology specialist for The NIA Group. “The country’s major insurers have developed specific insurance coverages to protect companies in the event of an Internet or computer-based attack or accident. The NIA Technology Division works closely with all of them to provide individual client’s with the best protection for their specific needs,” Vecchiarelli notes.

These include:

Network security liability insurance to cover damage and litigation costs suffered by others in the wake of a computer attack upon your network, including liability caused by transmission of a computer virus, unauthorized access, denial of service, disclosure of confidential information and identity theft.

Comprehensive computer attack coverage for any unauthorized access or use of the insured’s computer system resulting from a breach of security, such as denial-of-service attacks, computer viruses or other malicious code. These can involve internal employee attacks or external attacks that breach your client’s security. The coverage can apply whether the attack is specifically targeted or widespread, fraudulent or accidental and malicious or innocent.

Broad-based, Internet professional liability coverage for errors and omissions liability arising out of a comprehensive list of Internet professional services, including application service providers (ASPs), Internet Service Providers (ISPs), managed and network security services, hosting, media services, e-commerce transaction services, web portals and search engines.

Network business interruption coverage that protects the insured's income, both online and offline resulting from a computer attack.

Identity Theft Insurance for liability arising from the theft of personal information of the insured's employees or customers resulting from a breach of network security.

Physical Theft of Data coverage for the liability associated with physical theft of computer hardware or firmware containing information assets.

Information asset overage for the damage, destruction, corruption or theft of important information assets due to a covered computer attack.

Cyber extortion coverage for the investigation and settlement of a cyber-extortion threat against you, including criminal rewards coverage for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of individuals committing or attempting to commit a computer attack or other qualifying criminal acts.

To learn more about the types of technology coverages available to help you protect your business, your customers and your employees, contact Elio Vecchiarelli of The NIA Group’s Technology Division at (732) 933-4500 or