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Building up your Defenses against Cyber Warfare

Written by Mat Geffin, Vice President

Recently, it seems all we read about in business journals, news websites, and even our local publications like MassLive, is attacks on our IT infrastructure. These cyber attacks, which have been increasing in frequency lately, are becoming all too common in our everyday lives. And the impacts are real. Gas prices increased after the Colonial Pipeline breach. Beef prices are likely to rise with the most recent attack on the world’s largest supplier. The Steamship Authority here in Massachusetts suffered delays and downed computer systems which prevented online and phone bookings of ferries between Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and the mainland. And even in the insurance industry, CNA, one of the world’s largest insurers, paid a $40,000,000 ransom to get its data back…. an incredible amount of money!

Now more than ever, IT security is a critical piece to your risk management puzzle. No longer is just changing your password every couple of months enough. These cyber criminals are some of the most tech savvy, invasive technology minds in the world. They are organized. They are professional. And they are well-funded. They know exactly how to break into your system, and quickly identify vulnerabilities.

Companies have to take every precaution now to ensure their own security and safety. Employee training is an important first step. Testing employees is both an easy and free endeavor to see what they will click on and how many will do so. We ran a test ourselves here at the agency this past week using a company called KnowBe4, and found it very insightful.

Cloud-based backup and having redundancy is also a critical component to ensure that following a breach, you can get your business back up and running without delay. Maybe most importantly, partnering with a great technology provider to put together a strategic plan that encompasses upfront protection and disaster recovery is now a must for every business.

And just like Property, Liability and Auto insurance is there for when all else fails and an accident occurs, Cyber Liability policies are also available. They provide both first and third party protection for when a breach or ransom attack occurs. For your business, they can assist with paying for the ransom, putting back together your systems, hiring forensic attorneys and IT companies, and also paying for any loss of income for you or your dependent vendors. In addition, for any lawsuits that come to your business as a result of the breach, third party protection is available just like General Liability.

We strongly recommend reviewing your policies and ensuring you have adequate Cyber Liability coverage as part of your insurance plan. The threats are real, and it’s important that you prepare in every way possible.

In today’s web based world, Cyber is a critical component to a good risk management program and I encourage every business out there to evaluate their risks and insure accordingly. Here at Webber and Grinnell, we keep a close eye on the markets for Cyber Liability coverage and best practices for protecting your IT infrastructure. Please reach out to me directly at or 413-570-1973 if you have any questions or want to explore your options.