Cyber Liability Insurance and Coverage and Dentists
Cyber criminals steal patient information from clinics, such as health histories, birthdates, banking information, credit card information, etc. (“Dental Practice Cyber Risk – Exposures & Protections” 2017; Oberman 2015). They utilize a variety of methods, such as utilizing malware to steal “the practice’s online banking user credentials,” using ransomware, “which is software that locks [the person’s] data and charges (‘extortion’) for a key to unlock the data,” and much more (“Dental Practice Cyber Risk – Exposures & Protections” 2017). They can use this information for profit by selling it “for a premium on the black market…” (Mearian 2016). Upon losing this information to them, dentists must pay high fines and penalties from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and their state (Oberman 2015). On top of that, their patients may sue them (Oberman 2015). Clinics must encrypt their data on their computers and train their employees on preventing cybercrimes (Oberman 2015). However, when cybercrimes occur, cyber liability insurance policies help cover the costs related to these situations.
Cyber liability insurance covers a variety of items and events when dealing with the aftermath of cybercrime. Business insurance policies usually do not pay for incidents related to cybercrimes (“Cyber Liability / Data Breach Insurance”). Consequently, clinics must enroll into cyber liability insurance separately so that their policy could “cover the cost of investigating a theft, compensate the insured for all state and federal fines and penalties imposed, and fund all related lawsuits and legal fees, thus relieving the dentist of the financial and time burdens imposed by the security breach” (“Cyber Liability / Data Breach Insurance;” Oberman 2015). Also, dentists may possess Cyber Liability coverage from their Dental Professional Liability Insurance (Insurance Innovations 2016). With this coverage, dentists also may not have to worry about the costs related “to [notifying] third parties (e.g. patients) that their private medical information has been breached or compromised” (Insurance Innovations 2016). In addition, policies usually limit coverage of credit monitoring services up “to 12 months from the date of enrollment in such services” (Insurance Innovations 2016). Regarding information stolen by cyber criminals, cyber liability insurance “covers expenses to recover and/or replace data that is compromised, damaged, lost, erased, or corrupted” (“Cyber Liability / Data Breach Insurance”). Other aspects of cyber liability coverage include events of copyright or trademark infringement, libel, slander, cyber extortion, and cyber terrorism (Insurance Innovations 2016).
Cyber liability insurance can alleviate the costs related to cybercrimes for dentists. They can cover many of their expenses so that dentists do not have to worry about spending too much of their budget. Albeit, beneficiaries still need to make their practice secure from cyber criminals because they not only need to “comply with requirements established by the insurance companies,” but also protect their patients’ information and privacy (Lenok 2016).