sis_juneblog3In our last posts, Cyber Security and Your Agency, Protecting Your Agency from Cyber Risk, and The Most Important Elements of Cyber Liability Coverage, we took a look at the growing cyber security threats and how the insurance industry is tackling this issue. To wrap up our series, we asked the experts – independent insurance agency owners. Here’s what some agency owners had to say on the topic.

What is the biggest cyber threat to your agency?

  • Leslie Huesman, Huesman Insurance Group: “We worry most about people hacking into our system. Criminals are at work day and night to access personal data (for identity theft).”
  • Steve Kramer, Kramer Insurance: “Our biggest risk is our people. We need to educate our staff and agents on how to handle (personal information). We worry about anyone being lax when it comes to handling such data.”
  • John Heinsz, HSG Insurance Services: “The hacking of our database (and corruption of data).”
  • Larry Harb, IT Risk Managers, Inc.: “The biggest threat to any agency owner is their employees and human error. When employees take home laptops, flash drives, or other mobile devices with sensitive information, it can easily be stolen leaving the data on those devices exposed. Data can also be lost or corrupted through viruses downloaded by individuals.”

What preventative measures can be taken to safeguard against data breaches?

  • Steve: “Developing a plan for cyber security and covering how to handle (each piece of data) as it comes through the door. (We put together) a written ‘Information Security’ program and give each agent a self-assessment checklist. It’s not just a security plan, it’s a business plan.”
  • Larry: “(You) need to set up preventative items. We want everybody to have security in place (in their agency), meaning encrypting data and using secure passwords. Our biggest asset is our data, so that data needs to be backed up and protected against computer meltdowns, too.”

What are the most important points of cyber liability coverage?

  • Leslie: “There are two important parts: first is the money to pay for the damage to customers, second is providing our clients with a quarterback to run the show. This person helps our clients through the process of notification and meeting all requirements of a company that has had a data breach.”
  • Larry: “The biggest piece that everyone buys is notification coverage, since database notification laws are set up in most states. It’s been estimated 60% of small businesses suffering a data breach go out of business within 6 months without such coverage. There is also electronic media coverage, which pertains to liable, slander, infringement of intellectual property rights, and online advertising violations committed by anyone associated with the covered business.”

What do you see as the future of cyber liability coverage?

  • John: “Cyber liability coverage will become automatic coverage in most business policies and home policies, like Loss of Income in BOPs or Identity Theft in Home policies.”
  • Larry: “Currently there is no standard policy language or definitions. When I talk to insurance agencies, I like to call it data based coverage. I’m trying to demystify this concept, telling business that cyber liability coverage is as important as sprinklers in your building. You can insure a building without sprinklers, but it’ll cost more.”

Each of our interviewees stressed the importance of adding cyber liability as a point of coverage for their customers. We at SIS know the importance of adding such coverage, which is why we made adding a new point of coverage as easy as creating a new template and adding it on to a new or renewal review.
To learn more about how Partner XE protects your data, check out our website or contact us today at sales@sisware.com.