Massive losses involving billions of dollars are being suffered because of cyber security and cyber-liability issues. Online hackers, negligence and environmental disasters have caused enormous losses to computer functions and data, as well as loss or theft of confidential computer records. This has become a serious problem in an age where people and organizations are becoming increasingly dependent on computers, electronic data and data transmission.
More and more organizations are moving towards the paperless workplace and there has been rapid growth of online or electronic businesses. Many goods and services are now offered online where purchasers are required to disclose personal information that can become shared across connected multiple platforms. All of this has led to increased risks of breach of privacy, identity theft, fraud, cyber-extortion and inference with computerized operations of production lines, motor vehicles and medical devices (such as insulin pumps, pacemakers, and defibrillators). Fifty percent of businesses report having been the subject of a cyber-attack, of which sixty percent have been small and medium-sized operations.
There has been an exponentially increasing amount of litigation, including multi-million dollar class action claims with respect to such losses. Canadian courts are recognizing new causes of action for privacy breaches. There has been a proliferation of dedicated insurance policies becoming available for the protection of organizations from cyber claims. Every organization’s needs for such insurance coverage are unique in terms of its particular systems (software and hardware) and its institutional culture such that selecting the appropriate insurance policy is a complex task. Organizations facing such claims are also seeking to rely on traditional forms of insurance policies which were not developed with cyber-liability in mind, which presents insurers with many challenges in determining whether or not their policies must respond to such claims.
Field Law lawyers are well versed with the issues of cyber-liability (including acting as breach coaches during an incident, advising on implications of privacy legislations and new privacy torts) as well as related insurance issues. We can assist our clients in determining their insurance needs. We are capable of prosecuting or defending cyber-liability and related insurance claims. We can provide legal advice as part of an organization’s team for assessing the organization’s cyber risk strategy, including the acquisition of appropriate insurance coverage.