It is predicted that in 2020, the number of devices connected to
the internet will reach 30 billion, up from an estimated 13 billion
in 2015. This ecosystem of Internet-connected devices, operational
tools and facilities, has been referred to as the "Internet of
Things". This term refers to the network of physical objects
or "things" embedded with electronics, software, sensors,
and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect
and exchange data.
Already, most businesses have realized the enormous advantages
that come from the ever advancing technology. Nevertheless, many
businesses have already or soon will experience the downside to our
dependence on technology. In a global study conducted by
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, called The Global State of
Information Security Survey ("GSISS"), it was
determined that of more than 9700 Executives across 154 countries,
the total number of security incidents detected by respondents
climbed to 42.8 million in 2014, an increase of 48% over 2013.
Additionally, in 2015, there was further increase of 38% security
incidents were seen since the previous year. Although these numbers
are shocking, it is not a full depiction of the severity of risk.
Many organizations are unaware of attacks, and others do not report
One cybersecurity firm estimated that as many as 71% of
compromises go undetected. A 2013 survey by the International Cyber
Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) indicated that cybercrime is
fairly prevalent among Canadian businesses, with 69% of the 520
Canadian businesses surveyed reporting some kind of attack within a
twelve-month period. This resulted in a total of 5,866 attacks
being reported. The top two forms of cybercrime among these
businesses were malware/virus attacks (which occurred among 51% of
the businesses) and phishing and social engineering (which affected
18% of the respondents). Unauthorized access or misuse of corporate
websites affected 13%, while misuse of social networks affected 15%
and telecommunication fraud affected 8%.
So what is Cyber Liability? The term "Cyber Liability"
is one that has evolved over the past decade as a result of the
rapid changes in technology. Cyber Liability can be defined as the
risk posed by conducting business over the internet, over other
networks or even from just using electronic storage technology.
Cyber Liability can impact businesses in one of two ways. A
business can be a "first party" victim, which occurs when
their own information has been breached. Second, a business could
be a "third party" victim which occurs when customer or
partner information which a business has promised to keep protected
is breached. Companies obviously have compelling reasons to avoid
both types of Cyber Liability. The consequences, however, of third
party cyber liabilities can be devastating. Third party Cyber
Liability often ruin brands, opens the door to million-dollar
lawsuits and can trigger statutory fines.
With the startling rise in the occurrence of Cyber Liability, it
is important to review what plan your business has in place to
prevent breaches of confidential information. Keep this in mind the
next time you go to click the save button on a confidential
document. Think of the risks described above and consider what
strategies you have in place to protect your confidential
information. A proactive approach is always better than a reactive
approach, so this means that planning how you will protect your
business is essential.
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