Matthew is Founder and CEO of The DVI Group, a strategic communications agency that reimagines business video for brands around the world.
Recent work with the Department of Defense has provided me with a crash course in cybersecurity. Of course, the government requires vendors to be extra vigilant in keeping government information secure. Well, shouldn’t that be true of all our clients? In this day and age, how can we protect our clients’ data and our agencies?
“Cybercrime” and “creativity” aren’t two concepts you often hear mentioned in the same breath. But we’ve got some compelling evidence that shows just why cybersecurity awareness and cyber liability protection are important to think about when you’re hiring your next creative firm or marketing agency.
Creative agency cybersecurity should be at the forefront of modern business communications to ensure the safety of client information, the well-being of employees and the continual growth of your revenue.
Why Think About Creative Agency Cybersecurity?
More clients require cyber liability insurance from their creative partners. Many companies only work with agencies that have plans in place—that’s why, according to our cyber liability insurance expert, there’s been a recent increase in cyber liability quotes while insurance companies and carriers struggle to keep up.
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Any company that’s exposed to the internet needs this type of security. If an agency has more than one employee who has access to the internet, those employees are receiving emails multiple times a day, presenting an almost constant opportunity for phishing cybercriminals to gain a foothold. With the increasing prevalence of work-from-home and remote work arrangements, more employees than ever are accessing the entirety of their work online—again, opening many doors for possible attacks.
When leaders think of cyberattacks and the fields most at risk, they may think first of government operations, the finance industry or, perhaps, even healthcare. But according to Statista, among the cybersecurity incidents in 2020 where the industry of the victims was known, the largest number of attacks was levied against the entertainment industry. After all, what about the creative agencies, design firms and entertainment studios that partner with government operations, finance and healthcare? They often have access to sensitive information and trade secrets.
Protect Against the Negatives
When considering security-mindful creative partners for their company, leaders usually think of the negatives associated with a security breach:
• Recovery and compensation costs.
• Lost trust among clients and potential clients.
• Violation of contracts.
• Loss of potential business.
Any company connected to the World Wide Web risks exposure and would benefit from cyber liability insurance, especially in our new world of remote work and work-from-home employees. But rarely do businesses consider the positive side of the coin—the advantages you gain by working with agencies on advanced cyber liability plans. Here are some of those advantages:
Save On Insurance Costs
Cyber insurance used to be a cheaper undertaking, but that’s no longer the case. Modern insurance of this type is very costly. If you look for creative partners with insurance, you’ll be requiring them to make a purchase that’s large but worth it. Cyber liability insurance covers damages into millions of dollars.
When you allow your creative partner to pay for an insurance plan appropriate for their size and data usage, you’re effectively splitting costs with them to ensure even coverage for all. And the sooner they purchase, the better for them: Insurance costs are rising steadily and don’t show signs of stopping.
Free Your Mental Energy
Cyberattacks are so much more common than we think. We see it happening every day—businesses being hacked and locked out of email accounts, and data held hostage until monetary demands for payments in the thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars are paid. For smaller companies, this is becoming a more common occurrence.
You don’t have time to think extensively about the security measures taken by a vendor. Instead, require cyber liability insurance and know that their data—and by extension, yours—can be recovered.
When working with a creative partner that’s already purchased cyber liability insurance or plans to in the near future, you can rest easy knowing they’re working with plans built for their niche. Insurance agencies cater to specific industries, and many focus specifically on film and entertainment. For example, some of the plans we reviewed covered electronic, social and printed media, while others had coverage for social engineering and funds transfer fraud. There are lots of options, but what I found was there is a baseline product that will provide most agencies with solid coverage.
Assurance Of Continued Service
If your partner is covered by insurance and they experience a cyberattack, a plan will often work on restoring their hardware and software back to normal. But the largest assurance is financial recovery. Financial recovery is the largest and first step in moving forward after an attack, so if your partner has the proper insurance in place, they can resume work for you quickly and efficiently.
Trust That They Care About Security
If your creative partner is invested in insurance, that’s a great sign that they’re working to prevent cyberattacks in other ways, including continuing education for their employees, periodic safety notices and investing in high-quality firewalls and hardware protections. Look for a partner that’s covered, and you’ll most likely gain a conscientious, forward-thinking vendor.
In A Dangerous World, Insurance Is Everything
If defensive measures don’t work and the worst comes to pass, even creative agencies need a safety net to fall into. That’s why, when considering your next creative partnership, you should take a closer look at agencies that have cyber liability plans in place.
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Author: Matthew Lopes, Forbes Councils Member