While today’s technological advances have made doing business easier, they also present new threats. Any organization or business that handles or stores personal information about their customers or employees is at risk for a privacy breach.
What is a privacy breach?
A privacy breach is the intentional and/or unintentional release of protected, confidential or sensitive personal information. Privacy breaches do not have to come only from loss of data from a computer/electronic file. They happen any time information held on a computer/electronic device, in a file folder, or even from a conversation is released.
What is personal information?
Personal information refers to any information specifically about an individual, and can include things like:
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Driver’s License
- Financial information (including credit card information)
How does a breach of data occur?
Breaches do not have to be intentional or criminal in nature, but they can be. Some of the ways these can happen include:
- Employee or contractor negligence
- Lost or stolen devices (i.e. phone)
- Procedural mistakes
- Lost or stolen records
- Malicious or criminal insiders
- Malware or hacking
Some of the most common causes of a privacy breach include lost or stolen laptops and data storage devices, unauthorized access to computers systems by various means and improper document or office equipment disposal.
What are the consequences of stolen information?
Stolen identities can be falsely used to secure fraudulent loans or commit a crime. When an identity is stolen, credit may suffer as a result. Correcting the problems created by a privacy breach can take a significant amount of time and (potentially) money.
What do I do if I suspect my organization/business has had a privacy breach?
There are four steps to consider when responding to a breach:
- Contain the breach and do a preliminary assessment
- Evaluate the risks associated with each breach
- Send notification
- Prevent future breaches
Did you know that there is insurance coverage available to help you with your privacy breach?
We can offer coverage that covers costs of notifying those affected. This includes valuable professional help to respond promptly and properly, preserving business relationships and reputation. As cyber threats continue to evolve, our coverage solution gives you peace of mind knowing the most sensitive information is protected.
There are some misconceptions in the small business world pertaining to insurance. Some owners don’t think they need it, while others think it’s too expensive for them. The truth is no matter how small your business is or how early you are in the start-up process – you’re still at risk for loss. Sometimes that loss can be much more expensive than insurance coverage.
Ask about adding privacy breach coverage to your commercial policy
Contact one of our commercial insurance advisors