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3 Impacts of Cyberattacks on Alberta Businesses

Business Insurance

By Samantha Lemna | February 12, 2021

In 2019, 43% of large businesses, 29% of medium-sized businesses, and 18% of small businesses were affected by cybersecurity incidents, according to Statistics Canada. These cyberattacks can impact Alberta businesses in three big ways: 

  • Business Interruption 
  • Reputational Damage 
  • Financial Loss 

While it’s important to practice good cybersecurity to do your best to prevent or mitigate cyberattacks, this won’t eliminate your company’s risk. Should the worst happen, cyber insurance can help your business recover. 

Business Interruption 

A cyberattack can interrupt your business as usual in many ways: 

  • Damaging your company’s critical infrastructure 
  • Bringing down your website or e-commerce site 
  • Slowing or stopping work due to malware or viruses 
  • Theft of intellectual property 
  • Damaging your company’s reputation 
  • Job losses 
  • Litigation 

You will also be dealing with the cyberattack fallout itself which will likely interrupt or slow your normal day-to-day for many employees. It may take some time to restore your business to its normal operations. 

 A good cyber insurance policy will provide you with immediate access to experts who can help you deal with the cyberattack and recover more quickly. 

Reputational Damage 

If your business is the victim of a cyberattack, you will likely suffer from reputational harm. Depending on the severity of the attack and your industry you may receive unfavourable press coverage. There is often a loss of trust from the public, whether client information was stolen or not. This can result in your business losing its existing and future clients. 

Reputational damage tends to be worse if client data was involved in the cyberattack. Understandably, people will be angry at the potential for their personal and confidential details being exposed to theft. 

With proper cyber coverage, you will have coverage for costs associated with notifying customers of any potential exposures as well as assistance with repairing your reputation. You can receive reimbursement for hiring public relations specialists and covering marketing expenses. Note that all expenses incurred as a result of a cyberattack need to be approved beforehand by your insurer if you are seeking reimbursement). 

Financial Loss 

The third major impact of a cyberattack on Alberta’s businesses is financial loss, including: 

  • Loss of customers due to reputational damage 
  • Loss of transactions due to infrastructure damage 
  • Cost of restoring or repairing your company’s infrastructure 
  • Ransom payments 
  • Theft of intellectual property and corporate information 
  • Theft of money from your business 
  • Cost of litigation 
  • Regulatory fines or sanctions 
  • Cost of notification to customers or other third parties whose information was exposed 

Cyberattacks can be extremely costly in terms of dollar amounts for businesses in Alberta. Cyber insurance can help cover these expenses, minimizing the financial impact on your business. 

What can businesses in Alberta do about cyberattacks? 

Luckily, there are ways to prevent and mitigate the damage caused by cyberattacks. Investing in cybersecurity best practices (including ongoing employee training) and cyber insurance can help your business reduce the likelihood of an incident and recover more quickly afterwards. Contact one of our commercial insurance brokers to discuss cyber risk management and cyber insurance for your business. 

 

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