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Cyber Liability Insurance. Are You Covered When Employees Work From Home?

With many organizations now requiring that their employees work from home due to the ongoing novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, what effect does that have on insurance coverage?

There are many factors involved in answering that question.

Personal Devices

Are your employees using computer hardware owned by your organization or are they using their personal computers or other devices? For most organizations, the move to a remote working environment was swift. Some companies provided company-owned laptops to employees, while others had to use personal laptops, tablets and other devices to adapt quickly.

This is an important distinction because policies may limit or exclude coverage for computer hardware not owned by the named insured. The insurance policy may also have other requirements related to the use of personal devices by employees, such as requiring a formal written policy to address the use of such devices. What happens if an employee’s device is damaged while doing company work?

This is the perfect time to review your insurance policy to see if cyber liability coverage applies in your situation. One of our experts can verify and, if needed, correct your policy to make sure you’re covered.

Security Breaches, Phishing Campaigns 

There are other considerations as well. What happens in the event of a breach? Rapidly deployed remote working arrangements provide new opportunities for hackers to infiltrate computer systems, and not surprisingly, attempted cyber attacks are on the rise. Cyber criminals are capitalizing on the opportunity presented by the coronavirus outbreak with phishing campaigns, sending out emails inviting employees to click on links to malicious software that purportedly presents health and safety measures. In fact, cyber attacks were up 37% in March 2020 and phishing attempts soared to over 600% by the end of February 2020.

HR Benefits Inc. (HRBI) has expanded its business insurance product line to include a special version of a Coalition cyber liability insurance to protect you during these uncertain times and in the future. In addition to having the required cyber liability coverage, improve your cyber security by taking these steps:

  • Issue security policy guidance and rules. Keep good cyber habits top of mind for employees. A fresh reminder can go a long way to reinforce security best practices.
  • Set up a VPN. Setting up a virtual private network (VPN) can seem daunting but just requires a couple of hours to configure and isn’t technically difficult. VPN with multi-factor authentication should be used as it is the strongest defense.
  • Require encrypted and WiFi Protected Access (WPA) to secure networks. While no WiFi is totally secure, private password-protected networks are significantly more secure than public WiFi networks—especially those offered in cafes, hotels, and other public places.
  • Password-Protect devices used by employees and third parties. Require employees to use strong passwords that contain letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using the same password on multiple devices/accounts.
  • Maintain anti-virus and anti-malware software. Remind employees to install and regularly update adequate security software on all electronic devices they use to perform work remotely. That can be a phone, tablet, laptop, etc. Some employers are eliminating BYOD options and mandating that employees use only employer-supplied equipment and devices.
  • Power down. Encourage employees to power down computers when not in use. Powered off, computers are not accessible or susceptible to attacks or intrusions from the internet.
  • Back up data. Regularly backup sensitive information and, depending on the importance of the data, make sure it is encrypted. Secure backups are the best strategy to prevent critical business disruptions in case of a ransomware attack.

HRBI uses group-buying power to offer a portfolio of benefits and programming designed to help tech companies grow and prosper. In addition to its cyber liability insurance and other business insurance products, membership also ensures access to networking and educational events, discounts to products and services, marketing opportunities, the chance to become a hiring partner for the WTIA Workforce Institute, and our administrated 401(K) plan.



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