Over the last year I’ve had a number of conversations with colleagues and clients about IT and the phrase “data is the new oil” inevitably gets thrown in by one of us with a knowing nod. This sounds impressive but all it likely shows is we’ve watched the same Netflix documentary
Joking aside, it is a striking term. And one that quite accurately reflects the growing importance of data as both commodity and currency in today’s business environment.
The insurance industry has been slightly ahead of the curve in this realisation and for a while, have fine-tuned propositions designed to protect companies who suffer a loss in the short and long term because of cyber-attack/data breach.
The importance of such a solution is demonstrated in a very recent example involving a ProAktive client, which through no fault of their own, suffered a data breach that might have had serious implications on their ability to function day-to-day.
In this example, the client was notified by its IT provider of a large fire having had occurred at the offshore data centre that held its servers and cloud storage. To further compound the issue there was a possibility the fire had also destroyed the managed backups that were stored in an adjacent site.
- The immediate problems – no access to cloud storage, limited IT functionality and no way to keep track of work done, invoiced transactions etc.
- The long-term problems – how to pay salaries, accept new business, service existing clients, reputational damage and also how to pick up on retroactive work without aid of backups?
Without going into the specifics, I am pleased to say a potentially disastrous outcome was avoided without use of the insurance, although it is worth noting a comprehensive Cyber insurance policy (such as this client held) would have offered a degree of protection in respect of the business interruption short fall and associated crisis management/reputational impact.
All of this begs to ask the question: how would you fare in the same circumstances? Where is your cloud storage and how secure is it? Such data centres are typically state of the art facilities, however the above shows nothing is certain.
As processes increasingly become automated and IT becomes more sophisticated, data will become one of the key assets for all companies and so by extension. All companies are exposed to the same risks – targeted attacks, ransomware and pure accidents!
By Simon Wright Dip CII – Account Executive