Having become the center of almost every action movie these days, cyber-attacks are increasingly well known, more frequent, and more advanced. As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, hackers are more adept than ever at finding ways to break through the roadblocks developers put in their way. With societies reliance on electronic devices, personal information like social security numbers, bank accounts, and credit card information is more accessible – and dangerously so.
While many believe that cyber-attacks only target large corporations or highly visible people like politicians, that is unfortunately no longer the case. If you use the internet, you are at risk. And if you happen to be a high net worth individual, you’re a bigger target than most.
For high net worth individuals, the risk of being targeted by cyber-criminals increases for a number of different reasons. Those who are older oftentimes do not understand some of the potential threats online or are not technologically savvy enough to identify suspicious activity. Younger high net worth individuals have grown up with a level of dependency on tech, and many have made their wealth as a result of it, making them more trusting.
While many believe that cyber-attacks only target large corporations or highly visible people, that is unfortunately no longer the case. If you use the internet, you are at risk.
Regardless of age, high net worth individuals are more easily identified online. Whether they are business owners or executives, closely aligned with charitable organizations, or serve in any public role, a simple internet search can oftentimes give hackers enough clues about an individual to begin crafting a scheme. Layer in the amount of information we all harmlessly share through social media sites and before you know it your unique password isn’t as clever as you had hoped. More than anything, hackers are motivated by the knowledge that the individual they are targeting has the means to pay up.
Financial loss due to fraud can happen both online and off. Social engineering is a common tactic where criminals utilize other networks or social data to trick individuals or representatives into sharing confidential information or taking action under false pretenses. Once a criminal obtains your personal information, risks begin to multiply and can include identity theft, unauthorized payments or transfers from your accounts, forgery or alteration of checks, and even the acceptance of counterfeit money.
Cyber policies for individuals provide financial reimbursement for the costs generated from the theft of digital information and assets. Generally included as an endorsement to a homeowners policy, the policy limits purchased determine coverage.
COMMON AREAS OF COVERAGE
✔ ONLINE AND OFFLINE FRAUD COVERAGE
Online and offline fraud coverage reimburses you for financial loss due to fraud, whether it’s committed online or off. For example, if you get caught in an email scheme to wire money out of your account or if a criminal obtains and utilizes a replacement credit card in your name, you will be covered for your losses.
✔ CYBER EXTORTION COVERAGE
Cyber extortion coverage covers you from an online attack (think Ransomware) in which a cybercriminal demands money to prevent the damage or distribution of content, or to restore access to the functionality of your device. Many carriers provide immediate access to crisis management advice and coverage for any payment required to restore access.
✔ SYSTEMS ATTACK COVERAGE
Systems attack coverage covers costs for restoring systems appropriately and securely after an attack; reinstalling damaged software, removing malicious code, reconfiguring devices or systems, or replacing electronic data that has been lost or corrupted.
✔ ACTIVE CYBER MONITORING
Active cyber monitoring assists with cyber monitoring to ensure you are protected from any future attacks. Depending on the types of systems and programs you utilize, you may need to implement specific monitoring programs to be eligible for higher coverage limits.
As hackers continue to find gaps in online security, a cyber liability policy can help protect you. Take a proactive step in securing yourself and your assets from the aftermath of a potential attack.
worth of losses to individual and business due to cyber attacks in 2019
According to the “2019 FBI Internet Crime Report”
SAMPLE CYBER BREACH SCENARIOS
- An individual discovered $240,000 had been wired from his account. He contacted his bank, where he learned they had received an email appearing to be from the account owner and had called the individual/account owner’s cell phone to validate the transaction. The hacker had redirected the account owner’s cell phone number to their own and was able to confirm the amount and wire instructions.
- While browsing what appeared to be a legitimate online rental site, an individual wired $11,000 to reserve a vacation home for their family. It was later discovered that the listing was fake and not affiliated with the site and the money was transferred to a fraudulent account in England and was unable to be recovered.
- An individual was merely browsing the Internet when they received a pop-up window stating that their computer would be locked and all files would be deleted unless a $10,000 ransom was paid within the next 24 hours.
Anyone can be victim to a cyber attack. Generally included as an endorsement to a homeowners policy, cyber policies are available in varying increments and the selected policy limits determine your coverage. Personal cyber coverage provides financial reimbursement for the costs generated from the theft of digital information and assets.
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Associate Advisor | Private Risk
Jeff McSharry is a Private Risk Associate Advisor with RogersGray. Jeff graduated from Bentley University, where he majored in History with a minor in General Business. In his previous life, Jeff owned a yoga products business called Kulae, with a client base located across the world – making for unique partnerships. You can connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or by email.