Cyber for Plan Sponsors

Identity Theft Protection Isn’t Enough Against Cyber Attacks


For years, the biggest fraudulent internet schemes you had to worry about involved identity theft, whether it be a Nigerian Prince requiring your personal info to receive a portion of his wealth or just someone using your publicly available personal info to find a way into your bank account. Identity theft occurs when criminals access sensitive files and information via theft of personal information. But with online cyber attacks becoming more and more sophisticated, identity theft often is no longer required to steal your assets.

While using personal information such as a Social Security number to open a credit card online and rack up debt on a victim’s name is a typical form of cyber attack, many non-identity cyber crimes are becoming more and more mainstream.

In 2017, according to the FBI, hackers create almost 100% exact copies of legitimate real estate company emails to close a transaction. You’ll notice that no personal information was needed to be stolen to complete this transaction.

With ransomware, also known as cyber extortion, an individual clicks on an infected link in their email sent by the cyber attacker, which then installs malware on their computer that locks up their financial records, passwords, and other personal files. You’ll once again notice that no personal information  had to be stolen to execute this attack.

Cyberbullying, or infliction of harm through electronic devices and other means, is a growing cyber risk. Harassing behavior has actual costs and potential exposure to liability beyond personal feelings of the victim. No physical information is needed to be stolen to commit this type of crime.

If Identity Theft Protection isn’t enough, what can you do to protect yourself?

It is recommended that you purchase Cyber Liability Insurance to protect against possible cyber attacks and data breaches as attackers become more sophisticated and find their way around current state-of-the-art protections and safeguards.

Colonial Surety offers an included Cyber Liability Insurance endorsement for our ERISA Fidelity Bond packages with Fiduciary Liability Insurance to best protect your plan against a cyber attack.

Colonial’s cyber insurance provides a services-based solution to help plan sponsors manage data breaches successfully. These services include a dedicated team of cyber breach professionals who assist plan sponsors at every stage of incident investigation and breach response. These professionals coordinate the carefully vetted forensics experts and specialized lawyers to help plan sponsors establish what’s been compromised; assess plan sponsor responsibility; and, notify those individuals affected. In addition, these services will also coordinate credit or identity monitoring, and PR advice to help the plan sponsor safeguard its reputation. Of course, Colonial’s cyber insurance also indemnifies and defends plan sponsors from covered lawsuits or regulatory actions, the risk of which may be reduced by a well-coordinated breach response, but can never be completely eliminated.

Ongoing governance and evaluation of recordkeepers can help protect data, but the only way to fully protect against a potential cyber attack’s data breach is to purchase Cyber Liability Insurance from Colonial Surety Company.