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May 3, 2022 at 6:00 am

It’s a good time to review your IT security plan

by Joshua Fifield, CPCU, AAI, Vice President, Senior Account Executive, Business Insurance Agent, Clark Insurance

We have been experiencing unpredicted cyber liability claims since the start of the pandemic, from ransomware to social engineering fraud to cloud jacking, etc. It’s a good time to review your IT security plan especially as a rental property owner and property manager. You don’t have to be a retailer processing thousands of electronic transactions per month to have a meaningful exposure to the theft of personal information. If you have names and social security numbers of current, former and  prospective tenants, then you are at risk, even if you don’t store them on a computer.  Physical theft of a laptop, hard drive, cell phone, tablet or even paper files can lead to a breach. The most common way a ransomware attack starts is opening an infected email. And storing your data on the cloud may not save you either as most contracts don’t provide you with any remedies should they get attacked or suffer a breach.

Once you have a ransomware attack or a breach of your personal identifiable information you need a forensic specialist to determine the extent of a breach and determine next steps, including notification to all those affected, public relations and how to get your information unencrypted. It also may be necessary to offer a year or more of credit monitoring to be sure that there is no attempted identity theft. In the end, the average cost of all this continues to grow; for example it used to cost approximately $200 to notify per affected party. Then there is the possibility of a lawsuit brought against you by the affected parties for damages associated with a breach. Loss of earnings, emotional distress and suffering are all possibilities and expensive.

You don’t want to have to figure this out on your own. You can transfer your risk to a Cyber Liability product with a suite of coverages and risk management services. Its starts with an application and the application’s questions will help you better understand your risk Unfortunately the bad guys are one step ahead of the best technology. Firewalls and anti-virus software are great but already since June, Cyber Liability carriers now require even stronger controls be in place, including MFA – Multi-factor authentication is required for any remote desktop log-in…

If you aren’t getting answers that make sense, we at Clark Insurance can help.

Categories: Maine Real Estate Insider