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One relevant article is from a financial magazine called Reactions (for the full article, their website is  www.reactionsnet.com).

"Preventing the Chain Reaction", April 2003 by Russ Banham is a comprehensive article on recognizing that a company's information system is often the most valuable asset, but as the systems are more complex and inter-linked, the more vulnerable the system becomes.

The Article address some import new revelations about managing the risks company networks and client data are exposed to.  Below are some highlights:

"Corporate Performance Management (CPM) is the new buzzword among many corporations. This tool links disparate technology systems within a company, allowing managers to see how the whole company is performing and the individual divisions to share information. Data is pushed and pulled across the enterprise – from sales to human resources (HR) to production to finance and back. Now imagine if one of these systems is corrupted – infected with a virus that alters the data or destroys it.

In the old days (read: last year), only the infected system would be shut down. But in the new era of CPM, the entire company’s information assets are at risk."

The threats of malicious code from hackers,  threats from employee errors or malicious activity from internal or external sources have never been greater.  Just ask an IT manager responsible for restoring a hard drive or cleaning up a virus or a worm.  The costs to get a system up and running are accelerating, the costs to defend customer and client claims against defamation and privacy rules are accelerating.

"According to a survey by Computer Security Institute, a trade group of computer security experts, 85% of the 538 companies polled detected computer security breaches in 2001, and 64% said the attacks caused a large financial loss. A single denial-of-service attack against several large e-commerce sites in early 2000, among them Amazon.com and eBay, shut down the sites for two days, costing the damaged companies $1.2bn."

The article outlines a recent example of a bank who was exposed to a virus that acted like a denial-of-service attack.  There were several consequences including the ATM network going down.  This is a good example of how the interconnectedness of systems are creating an ever bigger exposure.

Where to go for relief?  "But victims of cyber-crime should not expect compensation from standard property/casualty insurance policies. These do not provide coverage against cyber-perils."  The court cases have begun to speak.  Ever since Micro versus American Guaranty & Liability Insurance Company has had the outcome of changing insurance policies to specifically exclude intangible assets.  

Dave Morrow, deputy director for global security and privacy services at EDS, an information services company in Texas, is quoted as saying, "People think the culprits are always hackers, but we in the technology security business know the real threat is the insider – some disgruntled employee with an axe to grind who knows the IT systems and how to undermine them,” he explains. “The chances of them doing enormous damage are far greater than the stories you read about.”

"Although cyber-insurance has jumped in cost during the hard market because of higher reinsurance premiums, foregoing coverage is unwise. So says President Bush: The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace report issued by the White House recommends cyber-insurance “as a means of transferring risk and providing for business continuity”.

The article ends with a note that some Directors' and Officers' Liability (D&O) policies state that if the company doesn't maintain a cyber-liability policy protecting against cyber-risks and related business interruption losses, the D & O coverage is excluded.







Small to large companies

* $20,000 to $75,000 (or higher)
     available to restore, replace
     and/or recreate data or a

* Programs starting for as little
     $ 100/month

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Small to large companies

* Includes the Data protection and
    adds liability protection

* Includes claims against content
     sent in an e-mail, posted on a
     website, public disclosure of
     private facts and more.

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Medium to large companies

* Protect your organization with a
    combination of the below coverage, or
   all of the below coverages:

* Media Errors and Omissions,
    Network Security Liability
    (DATA), Cyber extortion,
    Business Income Protection,
     Breaches of Security, Network
    Business Interruption,
    Contingent Business
    Interruption, Dependent
    Business Interruption, Asset
    Protection, Crisis Management,
    Criminal reward fund.

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