eFiles: April 9, 2001

By eweek  |  Posted 2001-04-09

Running the Risk of Insurance Ignorance

According to a survey of 282 small and midsize companies with fewer than 500 employees, 80 percent of respondents said they had no idea if their current insurance policies covered such specific cyber-risks as e-mail viruses, Web site business interruptions, online copyright infringements or privacy violations.

The national study, by The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., found that nearly all the companies surveyed were using the Internet for e-mail and for Web surfing.

Plenty to Fear From Security Breaches

A thorough look at your organization?s insurance policy might not be a bad idea, considering the number of security losses reported last year. In the annual Computer Crime and Security Survey conducted by the Computer Security Institute, of San Francisco, and the FBI, 85 percent of respondents detected computer security breaches last year, and 63 percent acknowledged financial losses due to computer breaches.

The most serious financial losses occurred through the theft of proprietary information and financial fraud. Thirty-five percent of the organizations able to quantify financial losses said they lost a total of $377.8 million as a result of security breaches last year. And for the fourth year in a row, more respondents cited Internet connections as more frequent points of attack than internal systems. The Computer Security Institute and the FBI interviewed 538 U.S. computer security practitioners for the study.

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