Do you know your cyber risks?

Have you taken a good look at the cyber threats your company may face? Ransomware attacks and thefts of personal data are more and more common. Major losses are experienced by companies affected by these events. You need to be aware of the risks that your business may be exposed to.

Risks related to theft of computer equipment

Theft of confidential or personal data is widespread, and stolen or lost computer equipment is one of the ways data theft can occur. It is easier to steal a laptop or phone and use it to access your company’s network than to get around your online security measures.

This means that your losses may be greater than the value of the device that was stolen or lost. A Ponemon Institute study shows that a stolen laptop containing personal and confidential data will cost a business an average of US$39,000[1]. This includes not only physical losses and stored data, but also damage caused by criminal use of the stolen data.

In recent cases in the United States, stolen laptops containing clients’ personal data were seen to cost organizations tens of thousands of dollars in fines and other expenses.

Stop up as many gaps as you can

Today’s network security systems are more and more effective. As a result, hackers will now attempt to exploit every other vulnerability affecting your company’s security. Whether it is physical access to your premises or social profiling of your employees to guess their password, anything that lets hackers into your network is a potential risk for your business. Identifying and mitigating IT security risks is a constantly changing process. However, there are a few basic steps you can take that will help you reduce these risks.

Secure every link in the chain

While many Canadian companies have a cybersecurity policy, they are often exposed to risk because of the weaknesses of smaller companies with which they do business.

A Léger survey commissioned by the Insurance Bureau of Canada among 300 small business executives with fewer than 500 employees revealed that almost half (44%) of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses have no way defense against possible cyberattacks.

This data is preoccupying, since hackers are known to target smaller businesses in order to gain access to large organizations. 

Cyber crime: a few figures

  • In Canada, losses related to data breaches add up to over $3 billion a year.
  • The average cost of a data breach in Canada was close to $5 million in 2018.
  • The average cost of detecting and containing a data breach is $1.78 million.

Insuring against cyber risk

When insuring their assets, companies still give priority to immovable and movable property, often neglecting information data, as revealed by the Léger survey commissioned by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, where 60% of small business owners admitted to not being covered by their insurance against cyberattacks. And companies that do insure against cyber risk are too often under-insured.

As data breaches and cyberattacks become more and more frequent, insurance providers have developed policies to help companies handle this type of risk. Talk to your broker or your insurance company to get the coverage your company needs.


[1] Ponemon Institute, Cost of a Data Breach Report, July 2018.


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