Cyber Liability & Data Breach Protection for Law Offices
by Michael Carroll, Insuring Lawyer
What you are about to read should send shivers down your spine as Cyber Liability & Data Breach are the newest and most likely risk any office faces. Law Offices especially are at risk!
Not carrying Cyber Liability & Data Breach protection puts you at massive risk to lose everything you own including your reputation for something frankly that is out of your complete control.
Allow me to share a story about Robert who is now a client, yet wasn’t prior. Robert is the Managing Partner of a very successful three Lawyer Firm with a tremendous support staff of four.
Robert’s firm enjoys a reputation that is second to none and deservedly so as their marketing is outstanding, their procedures are as tight as a drum, and their technical understanding and practice of law within their area of practice makes them the “go to” Law Firm in the greater Dallas area for both clients and referring Lawyers.
And then “it” happened.
Robert received a call from one of the firm’s clients claiming that they had suffered identity fraud.
At first Robert was baffled and frankly insulted that they’d blame him as his firm has state of the art firewalls protecting their computer system. So “how does this happen and why blame us” he thought?
Robert called an emergency meeting with the entire office and shared the nature of this very disturbing phone call. Immediately he saw a look of dismay on one of the other Lawyers David’s face.
Robert being quick to read people thanked everyone for their time and closed the meeting. David went into Robert’s office and reminded Robert that when he was traveling a few weeks prior he had lost his tablet or that it was stolen.
He remembered the inconvenience of David either losing or getting his tablet stolen and to get him back up and running was the focus (totally makes sense), yet never thought of a tablet as being a threat to any client’s personal information. Robert knew right then and there that was the root cause of what was now a problem brewing.
So Robert called his insurance broker at the time who proceeded to share that he didn’t know if this was covered or not, yet he’d get a claim filed and see what happens. Robert then asked correctly is there any type of protection for this type of risk of which his broker replied “I think so, yet let me check.”
Of course two days later the claim was denied and Robert was dismayed as he had no idea how this would go from here. He did ask his insurance broker again if there was some sort of protection available for this and he answered “sort of yet it is very expensive and hard to get”. Robert sarcastically replied “how comforting” and then hung up the phone.
Robert’s client didn’t suffer tremendous damage as they had an identity fraud service tip them off of this Data Breach and asked only that Robert’s firm pay for the cost to repair their credit. All told this “only” cost Robert’s Law Firm approximately $2,500.
Yet Robert thought that this could have been so much worse, and do you know what? Robert is spot on correct! He got to thinking that this may be the tip of the iceberg as who else may have been exposed as they have hundreds if not thousands of clients at risk as David had a VPN and internet connections to the office via that tablet.
Then he thought that anything is possible when it comes to client’s information being compromised. From a hacker getting into his network or computer and capturing his clients’ personal information. Understanding now more than ever that he and his firm are “toast” as it will get traced back.
And what about a laptop or even a smart phone, yet alone the tablet that David lost? In today’s world, who doesn’t own one of them, if not all three? And if you or any of your staff accidentally lose one of them or they are stolen you are again absolute “toast”!
Oh, and you’d be shocked at how many disgruntled employees who want to hurt you on their way out the door intentionally release confidential clients information as identity theft is big business in the world today that costs multiple billions annually in losses. You again are on the hook here and it doesn’t have to be that way!
Almost every state has a law that makes it mandatory for every business that has suffered a Data Breach to notify every client that a potential Data Breach may have occurred to them and to check their credit and financial information.
Robert did his research and saw that his Law Firm could face up to $250,000 in fines in Texas if they did not notify every client of the potential Data Breach. So Robert and his entire staff had to spend nearly 60 hours combined to notify all clients of this breach via mail and email. Think of the time and money lost to his Law Firm doing this!
Oh and it gets better! Robert’s letter caused more alarm than it did goodwill which caused many clients to leave Robert’s Law Firm.
See, Cyber Liability & Data Breach protects you from any type of occurrence where your clients or employees personal information becomes compromised including third party damages and defense costs. Plus the cost to mail all of your clients and written where the loss of clients will be minimal all done by your insurance company who specializes in this type of claim day in and day out!
And am going to again restate how any of this can easily happen to you that could frankly ruin you.
Your computers at work being hacked.
Or a disgruntled employee taking clients or employees information.
A laptop, tablet, smart phone lost or stolen.
Specifically, Data Breach & Cyber Liability is for Law Offices because you certainly collect personal information from your clients as highlights of the protection provided include:
• Third party defense and damages protection
Comprehensive breach response solution including forensic, legal, notification, credit & identity monitoring, call center, and public relations services
• Notification provided on a number of affected individuals basis to persons who must be notified under applicable law or those who are determined to be subject to risk of financial, reputational or other harm
• Forensic and legal assistance from a panel of experts to help determine the extent of the breach and the steps needed to comply with applicable privacy laws
• Each notified individual to receive an offer for 12 months of free 3-bureau credit monitoring or identity monitoring
• Identity theft-related fraud resolution services for individuals enrolled in credit monitoring who become victims of identity theft
• Coverage for website content media liability (offline media coverage is also available)
Yes, this is all covered for you if you purchase Data Breach & Cyber Liability.
And AGAIN here is a key point: Most every state requires companies to notify customers if there is a Data Breach. If you don’t, you are subject to huge fine and disciplinary action.
Don’t fool yourself either, as hackers and cybercriminals are very opportunistic. If they can get 100 records from a Law Firm they’ll do it.
And it gets worse as there is an increase in the number of customers the firms surveyed lost after a Data Breach. It’s no surprise for those who are not protected with Data Breach insurance lost on average 18 percent of their clients as bad news travels very quickly!
The risk of not having Data Breach & Cyber Liability insurance protection is pennies on the dollar as compared to the massive loss you will suffer if you do not have this valuable protection.
In fact, ask me the cost of which I’ve forged a deal with one of the leading insurers nationally to offer my clients and prospects at easily one third of the annual cost which keeps the cost in the hundreds of dollars annually for you!
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