Ransomware continues to handcuff the operations of non-profits and public entities

Ransomware continues to handcuff the operations of non-profits and public entities | Insurance Business

Ransomware continues to handcuff the operations of non-profits and public entities

Organizations in Canada can run, but they can’t hide from cyber risk, after a report from security vendor Carbon Black revealed that 83% of Canadian CIOs, CTOs and CISOs surveyed admitted that their companies had suffered a cyber security breach in the previous 12 months – much more than the 21% previously reported by Statistics Canada.

Not-for-profits, public entities, and other specialty classes of business are no exception when it comes to the threat of cyberattacks looming over organizations.

“Ransomware right now is the most prevalent form of cyber risk, and that basically handcuffs their operations [where] they can’t perform even the most basic of tasks,” said Stephanie Resendes (pictured, above), cyber underwriting specialist at Frank Cowan Company, adding that personally identifiable information and healthcare data is an increasing target for data theft, at the same time as customers have a higher expectation of security.

When it comes to protecting consumer information the stakes are also higher now that mandatory breach notification regulations, which include fines if companies fail to report a breach, are in effect.

To help organizations mitigate their cyber risk, Frank Cowan Company recently unveiled an enhanced cyber product designed specifically for public entities, non-profit organizations, and other similar specialty classes of businesses. The new product is backed by AXA XL’s syndicate 2003, and features all-inclusive limits available up to $1 million for standard coverages, though higher limits and optional coverages are available.

With this release, the managing general agent (MGA) is aiming to bridge the gap that exists between standalone and add-on cyber coverages in the current cyber insurance landscape.

“We have a comprehensive offering that covers all of the needs of our insureds from a risk perspective, and now we’ve added cyber on to that,” said Annette Henry (pictured, below), VP of underwriting, Specialty Programs, and Associations at Frank Cowan Company. “It is a full cyber product that covers third party liability as well as first party cost, but we’ve kept it within our program.”

To stand out in the cyber marketplace and bring more value to insureds, Frank Cowan Company has invested in its experts so that they’ve become full-fledged cyber specialists, which means they can ‘talk the talk’, and help brokers and consumers with an in-depth understanding of both organizations’ cyber exposures and the insurance products needed to cover them.

After all, the right cyber insurance is an important part of a cyber mitigation strategy, especially as this risk continues to grow.

“Ransomware attacks on public entities and non-profits weren’t necessarily a concern even a few years ago, but now you’re seeing these incidents regularly on the news because that frequency and severity is ramping up,” explained Kevin Simpson (pictured, below), cyber underwriting specialist at Frank Cowan Company. “It’s important that businesses pre-emptively identify their key business assets and how to protect them against these attacks.”

Read more: What's really behind most data breaches?

Frank Cowan Company recommends that all organizations have business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place, so that they can recover as quickly as possible following an incident and continue to provide service to their clients, according to Resendes. Comprehensive insurance and risk management plans can help organizations get back on their feet quickly.

Missing from the insurance market right now is the personal touch of experts who can effectively assist brokers and clients by pinpointing companies’ unique risks and exposures on an individual    basis, Simpson told Insurance Business.

“Brokers and clients really appreciate our level of involvement in reviewing these policies and procedures,” he said. “We have a team of cyber specialists that is dedicated specifically to helping municipalities, non-profits, and all of our other specialty classes of business because they need help identifying their exposures and getting those real-life claims examples, and they want that assistance improving their business and their stance on cyber-related incidents.”