Cyber insurance claims are becoming more and more common with each passing year. As business grows more dependent on technology, instances of cyber insurance claims are bound to rise in turn. The causes vary from malicious attacks, to security loopholes, on to employees not paying attention. All are traps which are worryingly easy to fall into.

Here is a brief overview of some of the most common cyber insurance claims businesses make.

Human error

An employee making a mistake, though innocent, can still be costly for a business. For example, an employee on a reception desk leaving confidential information on display to customers. Or, another example could be attaching an incorrect file to an external recipient. Human error is all too common, as such these types of insurance claims are regular.

Ransomware

Take for example an employee in the finance department clicks on a malicious link in an email, inadvertently downloading ransomware software into the business network. This software in turn encrypts all financial data, rendering it inaccessible until a “ransom” is paid. The business has no ability to function until said ransom is paid, or their system otherwise unlocked.

DDos attack

A DDoS attack generally involves deliberately overloading a network, causing a business website to go down. This in turn means customers can’t access it. Hence the name – Distributed Denial of Service attack. This causes the business to lose income from lost business and forces them to scramble to locate the source of the attack. It’s inconvenient and potentially highly damaging.

Phishing

Clicking malicious links also runs the risk of other harmful software being downloaded, it can even happen simply through visiting unsafe websites. Phishing software, once downloaded, scours the system for valuable confidential information – this gives the hackers access to passwords, accounts, and much more besides. Phishing software is usually highly efficient at finding profitable confidential information.

Unauthorised access

This can occur from a variety of directions. For example a hacker could gain access to the network through a loophole in the security. It could also be a case of a low-level employee accidentally being able to access data restricted to management. Either way, when someone has access to a system that they shouldn’t, it never bodes well for the business in question.

Malware and viruses

When malware or viruses enter the computer network, they quickly get to work disrupting everything. They can cause screens to freeze, machines to become unresponsive, or even to shut down altogether. With new viruses being developed every day, even the strongest anti-virus software must be regularly updated. Just one infected machine can easily cause the entire network to go down.

Data breaches

Data breaches can occur in a number of different ways – some malicious, some accidental. For example, an email containing confidential customer financial information being sent to the wrong recipient. Whether it’s through poor network security or employee error, the cost can be equally damaging. Data breaches can result in legal action as a result of failure to comply with data protection legislation, so are to be avoided at all costs.

Impersonation

In the right circumstances it could be very easy for one person to impersonate another digitally, given the right information. For example, a high-ranking employee accidentally leaves their Intranet log-in details on the train. A random person finds them, and is then able to access the system, posing as the employee. They can then either steal confidential data, or deliberately disrupt the system.

Rogue employees

Employees can turn malicious for a number of different reasons. Whether it’s due to perceived wrongs a company has done them causing a desire for revenge, or wanting to ingratiate themselves with a competitor by providing classified information. However it occurs, it can be devastating depending on the level of access to the system the rogue employee has.

Misleading communications

It can be surprisingly easy for a business to be duped into sending money for goods or services to someone claiming to be genuine. For example, a business receives an invoice for raw materials. The numbers add up and it looks authentic, so the invoice is paid without further question. However the sender has simply engineered the invoice from data they have found or stolen.

These are just a few examples of common cyber-crimes you need to be aware of. Always stay alert to protect your business, your customers, and your reputation!

Read more about cyber insurance and how it could help protect your business.