Choose your settings
Choose your language
Business insurance

Do you know how to spot the latest hacking techniques?

October 6, 2023

You work hard and you put your heart and soul into your business. Naturally, you want to protect your property and the stability of everything you've built. No matter what the size of your business, a cybersecurity incident could significantly disrupt your operations.

New trends in cybercrime

Phishing emails, ransomware, viruses and malware are just some of the tactics that scammers use to try and glean information about you and your clients. Cyberattack techniques are constantly evolving. Hackers are always looking for new ways to get what they want—and they're turning to artificial intelligence for help.

The latest hacking techniques are:

  • Launching large-scale automated attacks
  • Automating tasks to harvest usernames and identify vulnerabilities more easily
  • Making cyberattacks more sophisticated and responsive

Around 1 in 5 businesses have been impacted by a cyberattack in the last 2 years. Nearly 40% of these businesses experienced a period of downtime that lasted an average of 36 hours. And that's not all. Cyberattacks can also create financial and productivity losses, not to mention the risk of legal action and damage to the business's reputation1.

Computer theft: Julie's story

Julie runs a small accounting business with a solid client base. Her office has an alarm system. But that didn't stop burglars from breaking into the building and stealing a computer containing the tax files of more than 800 clients. There was a lot of confidential information on Julie's computer, including clients' names, addresses, bank details and social insurance numbers. After the break-in, that client data was made public. All in all, the legal fees and the cost of providing identity theft assistance for the victims added up to more than $28,000. And the real cost was much higher if we factor in the stress and anxiety the situation caused to Julie and her employees2.

"Any type of business, no matter how small, could be the target of a cyberattack," explains Amélie Bélec, Development and Relations Manager at Desjardins Business Insurance. "And as Julie's story shows us, the repercussions can be costly and far-reaching. When confidential information is compromised, financial loss, downtime and reputational damage are just some of the potential consequences. Cyber risk insurance gives you access to support from IT and communications specialists. Our Data Compromise insurance can cover the costs for legal defence in case of civil action, legal advice about what to do to minimize the consequences for your business, and the cost of hiring an expert to assess the scope of the damage. We also offer additional services to your clients and employees, including fraud alerts, phone assistance, identity theft case management and informational materials."

Cyberattack: Juan's story

Juan owns a medical clinic and works with a dedicated team of highly ethical professionals. Everyone at the clinic has always been meticulous about their work, but a compromising incident still occurred. The clinic's computer system was outdated and should have been upgraded years ago. The system was too old for the clinic to be able to install the latest security updates to their software. A hacker broke into the system and infected it with malware that harvested confidential data from patients' files for more than 3 months. The cost of this cyberattack was more than $56,0003.

"A cyberattack can happen to anyone," says Amélie Bélec. "We can't avoid the risk completely, but we can adopt the right habits to limit the consequences. The cyberattack led to a number of impacts for Juan's clinic. The clinic had to stop seeing patients for a while, and it wasn't cheap to hire experts to assess the damage and restore the computer system. On average, it takes 16 days for a business to recover from a cyberattack, so it's important to have the right coverage. Computer Attack insurance can cover most costs to help your business get back on its feet. And just like our Data Compromise coverage, you also get support from a specialized communications firm. You can claim the cost of restoring or retrieving lost or corrupted data, as well as the cost of getting your systems back up and running—and that includes replacing and reinstalling software. By adding the Computer Attack coverage to your insurance policy, you get E-media Liability coverage free of charge. This can cover your defence costs if a civil suit is brought against your business in response to something posted online."

Do your due diligence

  • Make sure your computer system is up to date with the most recent technology.
  • Update your antivirus software and firewall regularly.
  • Store your data securely off-site or in the cloud.
  • Encrypt emails that contain sensitive and personal information.
  • Use multi-factor authentication and strong passwords.
  • Use the training content, reference guides and advice in Cybereco's Cyberkit  External link. to enhance the cyber resilience of your business and your employees.

Get insurance that puts your business first

To find out more about cyber risk insurance and the different types of coverage, call a Desjardins property and casualty insurance agent at 1-866-472-8848.

1 Source: Statistics Canada. Impact of cybercrime on Canadian businesses, 2021.

2 The situation presented is a fictitious example and is provided for illustrative purposes only.

3 The situation presented is a fictitious example and is provided for illustrative purposes only.

Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc., provider of home, auto and business insurance products. These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting a property and casualty insurance agent for comprehensive, tailored advice. Certain conditions, limitations and exclusions may apply. The terms and conditions of the coverages described are set out in the insurance policy, which always prevails. Desjardins®, Desjardins Insurance®, all trademarks containing the word Desjardins, as well as related logos are trademarks of the Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec, used under licence.