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5 minute read

How has the pandemic heightened awareness of cyber exposure?

By: Sovereign Insurance

For many Canadians, the shift to working from home has been a silver lining of the global pandemic. Employees generally find they have a more flexible schedule, save time by not commuting and have fewer office distractions, leading to a happier and more efficient workforce. For employers, remote work has been overwhelmingly successful. In a January 2021 survey by PwC, 83% of employers said the shift to remote work has been successful for their company, up from 73% in PwC’s June 2020 survey. 

However, while there are clear advantages to working from home, there remains a dark cloud over businesses: cyber risk.1 Around the world, cyber attacks — and their associated costs — have skyrocketed during the pandemic. In Canada, the cost of cyber compromise now averages more than $1.25 million, a 47% increase from  2019, according to a new report by IT firm CDW Canada. An alarming 99% of businesses surveyed having reported a cyber attack between November 2019 and November 2020. 2

It’s not only faceless criminals behind cybersecurity incidents. The 2020 Netwrix Cyber Threats Report found that since organizations went remote, four of the top six types of cybersecurity incidents they experienced were caused by internal users: accidental mistakes by admins (experienced by 27% of respondents); accidental improper sharing of data by employees (26%); misconfiguration of cloud services (16%) and data theft by employees (14%).3 

See: “7 tips to protect your business from the risks of remote employees

If employers didn’t take cyber security seriously before, they’re certainly on high alert now. The global cybersecurity market is booming: it’s forecast to reach US$230 billion this year as businesses beef up their cybersecurity spending to prevent attacks. There is a specific focus on securing remote infrastructure and Internet Protocol (IP) solutions because of the work-from-home shift.4

See: “Cyber loss prevention: How to mitigate cyber risks to your business” 

While taking measures to prevent cybersecurity incidents is imperative for businesses today, it’s important to avoid a “one and done” approach. Cyber threats are constantly evolving, criminals are always one step ahead, and employees are only human. To further mitigate risks, businesses need to stay on top of emerging threats and continually provide cybersecurity awareness training for their employees

This applies to the post-pandemic world too. Many companies are planning hybrid work models, so they’ll have to stay vigilant about security for both remote work and physical office spaces. 

Despite their best efforts, no business can guarantee they’re 100% secure against cybersecurity incidents. That’s why cyber security insurance is a key piece of the risk mitigation puzzle. With the right coverage in place, a business can protect its bottom line and reputation in the event of a cyber attack or accidental data leak. 

Businesses should partner with an insurance company that’s also evolving as the cyber landscape changes. Sovereign Insurance®, for one, recently launched a new product suite, Sovereign Secure TechPro. It features more precise language designed to address the unique, new and emerging risks to Canadian businesses; enhanced policy forms to offer more comprehensive coverage; and modular products to provide greater flexibility. 

In addition to the financial protection provided to our clients by their technology or cyber policy, we provide education and consulting to help businesses keep pace with the rapidly changing risks of new technology and data regulations. With our partner CyberScout®, we also provide resources in breach preparedness and crisis management services. 

Contact your broker to find out more about cyber coverage from Sovereign Insurance and how we can be an ally in your fight against cyber attacks.

1 PwC, “U.S. Remote Work Survey,” Jan. 2021
2 Business Wire, “More than half of Canadian businesses rarely or never conduct regular penetration testing,” May 4 2021
3 Insurance Business Magazine, “Cyber threats related to inside action more common than outside threats now,” Dec. 10, 2020 
4 Markets and Markets, “Covid impact on cybersecurity market by technology,” April 2020

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