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Key things to remember when buying a cyber insurance policy

WannaCry, Petya ransomware cyber attacks, which took place in May and June, crippled thousands of systems across the world in countries including the US, the UK, Russia and Ukraine.  Photo: AFPPremium
WannaCry, Petya ransomware cyber attacks, which took place in May and June, crippled thousands of systems across the world in countries including the US, the UK, Russia and Ukraine. Photo: AFP

  • Cyber insurance offers protection against cyber-attacks and threats, helping customers protect their data against potential breaches, and reducing the impact of loss in case vital, financial or sensitive information is stolen or misused

NEW DELHI: Thousands of organisations globally came under attack recently after hackers exploited undetected vulnerabilities in different versions of Microsoft’s previous mail server software. The massive cyber-attacks have been causing damages to scores of companies as well as users around the world.

Considering the progressively rampant digital world that we live in, where instances of an individual's personal data being generated, transmitted and stored on to various digital devices are growing at an exponential rate, cyber insurance is the need of the hour.

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In the aftermath of covid-19 lockdowns, there has been a rapid adoption of digital and online modes of payments, given safety protocols of social distancing amid fears of a possible transmission of the virus through physical exchange of money.

Cyber insurance offers coverage against various cyber-attacks and threats, helping customers protect their data against potential breaches, and reducing the impact of loss in case vital, financial or sensitive information is stolen or misused.

A cyber insurance policy covers financial loss resulting from a ransom-ware attack or cyber extortion, IT theft, e-mail spoofing and phishing, losses and expenses related to defense and prosecution cost related to identity theft and cyber stalking, restoration cost to retrieve or reinstall data or computer programme damaged by malware.

Currently, cyber policies are not widely available in India. Most companies that offer cyber policies are for organisations and not individuals. There are some individual policies as well, but the coverage is not wide enough. The main reason for this is that it is extremely difficult to assess the loss caused in cybercrimes, and therefore, pricing of such policies becomes very difficult.

The sum insured under these policies ranges from 1 lakh to 1 crore.

Following an attack, the product helps in getting advice, restoring data, covering legal costs, tackling bullying and paying ransom in case of cyber-attacks.

The major inclusions under this policy are identity theft cover, cyber stalking, IT theft loss cover, phishing cover, e-mail spoofing, cyber extortion cover and counseling services. Some of the common exclusions under are dishonest and improper conduct, bodily injury/property damage, unsolicited communication, unauthorized collection of data and immoral/obscene services.

Remember that these policies come with a lot of sub-limits, meaning under each clause has a maximum amount that can be claimed.

Industry experts advice that while raising a claim, a policyholder must approach the insurer at the earliest upon discovery of a cyber-attack as it enables assessing the claim smoothly.

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