When the National Security Agency can get hacked, it’s clear that things have gotten serious on the cybercrime front.
It’s also clear that no one can or should assume they can truly shield themselves from would-be hackers.
The NSA, of course, is America’s largest and most secretive intelligence agency. And it has been deeply compromised in what experts agree is an unmitigated catastrophe. This is the agency that is the world’s leader in breaking into our adversaries’ computer networks but, as it turns out, it couldn’t protect its own.
What this suggests is that things for the rest of us are going to get much worse before they get better – if they ever do.
Forrester, a research leader, recently predicted that more attacks will be motivated by financial gain rather than political or military reasons.
Also, ransomware attacks targeting all of the internet-connected devices that are part of our everyday lives are expected to rise.
In other words, cybercriminals who once got their grubby hands on our finances through a breach at our bank are now doing so by hacking into our own smartphones, our thermostats, our virtual assistant devices – anything we use that’s connected to the internet.
It’s the scary part of the “IoT” trend.
Although it’s a safe bet that we’re all vulnerable, successful individuals and their families may be the most susceptible.
Cyber-security monitoring and detection services are now a multibillion-dollar industry, thanks to the bad guys. Some of these services, we know, are more robust than others.
The better options promise to put to work teams of cyber experts that constantly look for issues. That includes things like a strange spike in web traffic on your laptop in the middle of the night or your phone trying to connect to a suspicious server. They’ll block and stop threats, and contact you if you need to do more to address the situation.
But does that mean you’ll never get hacked? Maybe, maybe not.
That’s where a cyber fraud insurance policy can help. Cyber insurance until now has been generally geared to businesses. But policies are now available that are designed to address individuals.
These offerings go beyond the identity-theft coverage available in your homeowners’ insurance policies. They include home-security audits and a check on whether your home computer systems are hack-proof.
Some policies are available with limits far higher than we’ve seen in the past, going as high as $1 million, assuming you’ve subscribed to a monitoring service.
These policies cover your losses related to online as well as offline fraud. Examples include social engineering, unauthorized transfer or payment, forgery or alteration of checks, acceptance of counterfeit money and more.
You can also get crisis management advice should you become the target of cyber extortion. And there’s also coverage for the cost of a professional to reinstall damaged software, remove malware, reconfigure your devices and replace data that has been lost or corrupted.
Is this sort of coverage for everyone? Probably not.
But if you have investment accounts, you should know that less than 20 percent of brokerages will make clients whole after a cyber breach. And for individuals with several million dollars in liquid assets, the cost of the extra peace of mind would, in fact, be negligible.
Mike Rosser leads the Private Client practice at CCIG. Reach him at MikeR@thinkccig.com or 720-212-2068.
CCIG is a Denver-area insurance brokerage with the full-service capabilities of a national brokerage. We do more than make sure you have the right policy. We also help you lower your long-term cost of insurance with our risk and claims management expertise and a commitment to service excellence.