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Laptop hackers stealing customers' credit card info are not just a risk to traditional expertise and Internet companies. ChoicePoint, Polo Ralph Lauren and LexisNexis have captured headlines lately as victims of credit card theft. They're among the many 1000's of firms in danger from hackers breaking into their laptop techniques to take and abuse customers' personal information.

These days, each company doing enterprise over the Internet is in danger, whether or not the corporate is a huge software maker, a bricks-and-mortar retailer with a dot-com presence or a tiny retailer promoting specialty crafts online.

All businesses have private, vital info that's at risk. It may very well be anything from patents on mental property to buyer social security numbers.

Unfortunately for these firms - and their clients - many digital losses are usually not covered below traditional corporate insurance coverage policies. Commercial general legal responsibility policies - specifically the personal injury and advertising injury coverages - now offer very limited protection for most of the dangers rising from the widespread use of the Internet for commerce. In addition, policies covering damage to your own property, vandalism, business interruption, and dishonesty focus on tangible property but supply little safety for malicious programming (viruses) and for mental property - vital exposures for many companies. These policies typically supply very limited coverage for loss of computer data, regardless of how catastrophic or debilitating the loss.

This leaves firms victimized by computer losses open to substantial monetary damages - and the exposures are growing each day. Realizing this, a number of corporations are looking for safety via a type of coverage loosely referred to as "cyber insurance." This insurance coverage line has emerged over the previous a number of years as a approach for firms to hedge towards legislationsuits from prospects whose personal info is stolen - or different lawsuits from prospects alleging financial harm from misuse of digital information.

Let's take a look at examples:

1. Fictional net site design firm "Web Design," which has one hundred workers and $40 million in annual sales. Fictional consumer "Widget World" hires Web Design to design a Web site to promote products. In addition, Net Design creates a custom-made order package for Widget World to take orders online. The ordering software assesses tax on orders. Unfortunately, Widget World later learns it's not licensed to collect the tax and should refund the money to customers. The fee to Widget World is $250,000, which they determine to get better by suing Internet Design. If that weren't enough, a Widget World competitor sues Widget World, claiming its netsite appears too just like the competitor's Internet site. Widget World then sues Net Design for trademark infringement. This was once covered below Web Design's normal legal responsibility coverage but now excludes it. Cyber insurance calculator insurance coverage typically offers this coverage.

2. Fictional retailer decides to supply products to clients online with payment by credit card as an option. A hacker breaks through the security and obtains and sells private data on the credit cards and social security numbers of 300,000 customers. The retailer notifies its customers of the safety breach, but is uncovered to claims from customers for unauthorized use of their credit cards in addition to potential identity theft. Traditional policies exclude this however protection might be bought back by sure kinds of cyber insurance.

Within the pc safety business, cyber insurance coverage is gaining interest. A panel mentioned it at the February 2005 RSA Convention and Expo, a leading safety convention, in San Francisco. Many insurance firms now supply cyber insurance coverage in one type or another. The coverage is evolving and pricing is enhancing as more companies specific curiosity in the coverage and the trade kinds through new pc threats and one of the best ways to guard in opposition to them.

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