Retirement Plans and Cybersecurity: Ongoing Threats


Among the many dangers of big, headline making cyber attacks is distraction. At the moment, for example, while we are all busy wondering about the availability of gas, what ransomware can do, and so on, we may be putting off the cybersecurity protections we need to implement for our own small businesses—and retirement plans.

 Prime Targets: Retirement Plans

 Reminding us that cybersecurity is now a “daily struggle” for businesses, Bloomberg Law cautions that diligence is especially imperative for those with fiduciary obligations—such as retirement plan sponsors:

 The unprecedented technological challenges caused by the global pandemic have exacerbated the cybersecurity vulnerabilities of employers, many of which already struggled with unprotected data issues and weak cybersecurity practices. Even in a post-pandemic business environment, it remains imperative that companies employ best practices for cybersecurity awareness, prevention, and security as a part of their culture.

 These cybersecurity practices extend beyond general business transactions and include, importantly, employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k) and pension plans…..Because retirement plan participant information is commonly maintained and accessible online, retirement plans are a prime target for cybersecurity criminals. The absence of sufficient cybersecurity protections places plan participants and plan assets at risk from both internal and external cybersecurity threats. Separate from the general business reasons for the provision of adequate protection of benefit plan participants’ money and data, ERISA requires plan fiduciaries (e.g., employers) to take appropriate precautions to mitigate these risks.


Response Ready?


Comprehensive risk management is especially challenging for small business owners who are often without the same kinds of protections available to large companies. That’s why Colonial Surety Company is helping plan sponsors across the country with affordable Cyber Liabiliity protection—annual premiums are less than what you’ll pay for even an hour or two of expert legal assistance if disaster strikes. A key feature of Colonial’s Cyber Liability coverage is data breach response services. 


In the event of a breach, Colonial provides a dedicated team of experts who assist at every stage of incident investigation and response. Carefully vetted forensic and legal experts establish what’s been compromised, assess responsibility and notify impacted individuals. As needed, call center support, credit and identity monitoring is provided— even public relations experts. Liability protection in the event of covered lawsuits or regulatory actions due to a data breach? Of course, that’s included too.


Get your cybersecurity breach response plan in place quickly, and affordably with Colonial Surety Company: Cyber Liability Protection for Plan Sponsors


Guidance for Fiduciaries

The government’s new guidance puts increased importance on protecting retirement plan data and funds in the cyber era. The rise in cyber threats to small businesses underscores the importance of comprehensive approaches to risk management—and the vulnerability of fiduciaries. Bloomberg Law points out:


The DOL cybersecurity guidance acknowledges that cybersecurity protection for retirement plans necessitates a multifaceted approach, with a myriad of parties engaged and committed to initial and ongoing investment in online and operational security measures.


Plan sponsors are well-advised to work with retirement plan service providers and ERISA counsel to implement a well-developed cybersecurity compliance paradigm, with the goal of protecting plan participants and beneficiaries from online attacks, all while limiting plan fiduciaries’ liability exposure….


Let Colonial Surety help you protect yourself as a fiduciary. Don’t wait until the unforeseen occurs to scramble: you can protect your business—and yourself— today—it’s easy. Colonial’s comprehensive package includes:


  • The required ERISA bond which protects the assets of the retirement plan from theft;


  • Fiduciary Liability coverage to protect you and your assets from personal liability; and,


  • Cyber Liability coverage to safeguard your company and plan from covered losses and expenses in the event of a cyber breach.


Obtain Complete Protection Package Now

Serving customers since 1930, Colonial Surety is the trusted source for the pension industry to secure legally required ERISA bonds, fiduciary liability insurance and cyber-liability insurance. We help safeguard plan sponsors, pension professionals and financial advisors – and keep their businesses compliant – with pain-free, efficient, and friendly service every time.

Colonial Surety Company is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company, U.S. Treasury listed and in business all across the country.