Cyber Risk Conference: Educate SMEs on the importance of cyber coverage

Have SME clients think on how they'd fund the fallout from a cyber breach

Not many SMEs are in the market for cyber insurance, panelists at the International Cyber Risk Management Conference agreed. Many smaller companies, especially outside the financial services industry, simply don’t see themselves as holding data, Chantal Bernier, counsel at Dentons and former interim Privacy Commissioner of Canada, said at the session of regulatory perspectives. Small companies also don’t tend to think they’re a likely target for cyber attacks or feel their IT departments can handle the risk on their own.

Read more: Cyber risk conference: companies aren’t prepared for cyber attacks

It’s therefore important to educate companies on the exclusions in their general liability policies, Meike Payne, senior underwriter of professional risks at ACE Canada, said at the session on SMEs. It’s also helpful to point out a company is still responsible even if one of their vendors suffered a cyber breach that compromised their clients’ data compromised, said Ken Taylor, president of the International Cyber-Security Protection Alliance.

Read more: Cyber attacks may mean fewer investors: KPMG

Brokers should have SME clients think on how they’d fund the fallout from a cyber breach, says Doug Blakey, president and CEO of Watsec Cyber Risk Management. Cyber insurance not only covers litigation costs but can set a company up with legal and PR advice, and provide financial assistance.

Read more: Mining company transfers $10M to wrong account after cyber attack

Eduard Goodman, chief privacy officer at IDT199, suggested SMEs may be more likely to purchase cyber coverage if insurers offer lower premiums in return for completing cyber security training. Employment practices liability insurance discounts are already available for companies that provide anti-harassment and discrimination training.

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