Cyber security – data protection for the next generation


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Not only Google and Facebook but almost all companies collect and store our data. This is necessary so that we can be provided with the products and services we want in the best possible way. For this reason, our data is worth a lot to companies. It is therefore even more important that this valuable commodity is also properly protected – the keyword here is "cyber security". 

A very clear example of the way things can go wrong when it comes to dealing with customer data was provided by Yahoo. In 2013, this web services provider was the victim of one the biggest hacking attacks of all times. It wasn't until more than three years later that the enormous extent of the data theft became clear – all three billion Yahoo accounts had been hacked, and sensitive data such as names, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of their users had been stolen.1 Cases such as these show how important it is to have the right protection in place for our data.

Why is cyber security so important?

In order for us to share our personal data with a company, there needs to be a certain basis of trust. A hacker attack can have an extremely adverse effect on the extent to which people trust a company and, in most cases, will mean both financial consequences and considerable damage to the organisation's public image. Cyber security is intended as a preventative means of counteracting data protection breaches, identity theft and other cyber-attacks. In general, this term includes all concepts, measures and guidelines that serve to protect personal and sensitive data in the digital environment.2 As part of this security concept, it is also recommended to take out a cyber insurance policy.

Scope of the service provided by a cyber insurance policy

A cyber insurance policy provides companies with insurance cover against the risks of a hacking attack. In more serious cases, this means in particular the settlement of financial damages. This includes, for example, the costs for a break in business operations as a result of a hacking attack, for the restoration of data or for the clarification of the root cause of the damage. In addition to this, the insurance companies provide a service to the affected companies to give them support with the restoration of the IT system and the data which has been lost. The policy can be extended with various supplementary products, for example cover for legal costs. It is also possible for the insurance company to take over Public Relations tasks in order to restore the company's reputation. The cover provided by a cyber insurance policy is individually tailored to the needs of the company in question.3

A look into the future

Up until now, companies have tended to be rather poorly equipped for dealing with cyber security risks. This definitely needs to change in the future as threats from increasing networking and digitalisation are ever present in today's society. It is therefore not surprising that, although cyber insurance policies are still currently a niche product, prognoses suggest that they will become standard in a few years' time. For large and medium-sized companies, cyber security is already a must, above all if they deal with a large amount of sensitive data.4

4 German Federal Office for Information Security

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