Top 6 Cyber Liability Exposures

Posted 6 years ago

Cyber liability is making it’s way to the forefront in the insurance industry. With countless news stories over the last number of years making it to the news headlines. We have seen major breaches happen to all sizes of businesses. We have even seen the likes of Target, Visa and even the Canada Revenue Agency hit by malicious hacking to expose the personal information we trust them to keep safe. However, it’s not just hacking that can compromise the personal data of thousands. There are other situations that can be just as damaging; such as a stolen company laptop or smartphone which could have thousands of personal data records including credit card details and social insurance numbers. These are a few reasons why cyber liability insurance is just as important as some of the more traditional exposures businesses faces.

Why Cyber Liability Insurance? 

Most business liability policies are extremely unlikely to protect against most cyber liability exposures. A typical commercial policy is written to insure against injury or physical loss and will do little if anything, to shield you from electronic damages and the associated costs they can cause. The loss exposure are vast, ranging from the content on your website to the customer data your store. Being aware of the potential cyber liabilities your company faces is essential to managing risk through proper coverage.

Top 6 Cyber Liability Exposures:

  • Data breaches –Companies are beginning to have a greater responsibility to protect clients’ personal information. In the event of a breach, notification of the affected parties is now required by law in Alberta, and may soon be required throughout Canada. This will add to costs that will also include security fixes, identity theft protection for the affected parties and protection from possible legal action. While companies operating online are at a heightened risk, even companies that don’t transmit personal data over the Internet, but still store it in electronic form, could be susceptible to breaches through data lost to unauthorized employee access or hardware theft.


  • Intellectual property rights – Your company’s online presence, whether it be through a corporate website, blogs or social media, opens you up to some of the same exposures faced by publishers. This can include libel, copyright or trademark infringement and defamation, among other things.


  • Damages to a third-party system – If an email sent from your server has a virus that crashes the system of a customer, or the software your company distributes fails, resulting in a loss for a third party, you could be held liable for the damages.


  • System Failure – A natural disaster, malicious activity or fire could all cause physical damages that could result in data or code loss. While the physical damages to your system hardware would typically be covered under your existing business liability policy, data or code loss due to the incident would generally not be covered.


  • Cyber Extortion – Hackers can hijack websites, networks and stored data, denying access to you or your customers. They often demand money to restore your systems to working order. This can cause a temporary loss of revenue and generate costs associated with paying the hacker’s demands, or rebuilding if damage is done.


  • Business Interruption – If your primary business operations require the use of computer systems, a disaster that cripples your ability to transmit data could cause you, or a third party that depends on your services, to lose potential revenue. From a server failure to a data breach, such an incident can affect your everyday operations. Time and resources that normally would have gone elsewhere will need to be directed towards the problem, which could result in further losses. This is especially important as denial of service attacks by hackers have been on the rise. Such attacks block access to certain websites by either rerouting traffic to a different site or overloading an organization’s server.


Cyber Liability Insurance is specifically designed to address the risks that come with using modern technology–risks that other types of business liability coverage simply won’t cover. The level of coverage your business needs is based on your individual operations and can vary depending on your range of exposure. It is important to work with a broker, like myself, who can identify your areas of risk so a policy can be tailored to fit your situation.

Call or email if you would like a free cyber risk exposure assessment tool.

Steve Chittick
Phone 905-407-7071




Posted in Business Insurance |

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