ANYONE CAN GET HACKED. Major studio or first-time filmmaker, Cyber Insurance is more important than you think.
You get an email from one of your post-production facilities, saying that your last payment didn’t go through correctly. The email came from a legitimate source, and you trust what they’re sending you. As you click on the document, nothing happens. Or so you think. Many different types of malware don’t even do anything that appears harmful to your computer, at first. However, once the initial script is downloaded, it communicates with a command and control server. Additional malware is then placed. You could be operating normally for months after, while the malware is gathering your data, and building a profile of you and your operations. Then one morning, while booting up, your system is frozen, your data appears to be gone, and you’re asked to transfer funds to get your system unlocked. You’ve become the victim of a ransomware attack.
Imagine the all-nighters, the lack of sleep, the eating of microwaved spaghetti while spent editing, shuttling your cast and crew back-and-forth to locations in the middle of nowhere, to find the fruits of all you and your teams’ extensive labour is now locked behind virtual bars. This is just one version of potential malware attacks.
Phishing and social engineering attacks are (unfortunately) gaining popularity. Just recently, Twitter was the victim of a massive social engineering attack. Employees who had access to their internal systems and tools were targeted, causing some of the wealthiest people in the world to see their accounts hacked. What appeared to be legitimate philanthropic gestures posted by these wealthy people, suggesting that you donate to various charities using bitcoin, had links to a false address that resulted in over $110,000 USD sent by people just trying to do good deeds. This caused a major breach of security, resulted in a huge loss of revenue and put Twitter in a potential liability position.
There are simple things that should always be best practices when it comes to your security. Change your password often, and make it hard to guess. Try not to use it for various sites and various logins, and don’t share it with anyone. It’s important to press the “save” button while you work, but it’s just as important to back up your data frequently. This makes it easier if you need to wipe your system and reinstall. Make sure you have up-to-date firewalls and software patches and ensure your Wi-Fi is secure, and use VPNs (Virtual Private Networks).
Long gone are the days of a Nigerian prince telling you that you are descended from royalty, and they would like to transfer your inheritance to your bank account. Sony Pictures was the victim of a major attack in 2014. Not only did they have an entire film leaked, but it included personal information and emails from executives, scripts and plans of unreleased films, and other sensitive information. This caused an enormous breach of security and a massive leak of private information, as well as a huge loss of revenue. Even though they were hacked, on Dec 15, 2014 a class action lawsuit was filed against Sony Pictures Entertainment on behalf of former and current Sony employees affected by the company’s data breach. Legal defence fees in a normal case can add up to thousands of dollars. If you get sued, those legal fees still have to be paid upfront. Having Cyber Insurance will cover those costs.
Small companies and burgeoning filmmakers can get hacked, too. I was a victim of a ransomware attack. At one of my past incarnations working at an Independent Distribution company, I found one of our latest releases, from a Google search, that appeared to be posted on a bootleg site. In my attempt to verify it was our film, I clicked on the link, and boom, ransomware was instantaneously installed on my company laptop. I was lucky enough to have a Cyber Response team already in place, that immediately isolated my computer, launched a forensic investigation to ensure nothing else was comprised, and then cleaned, recovered and reinstalled my data, which was backed up regularly. Most of us don’t have that luxury, but having Cyber coverage makes that team available for you.
So what do you do if you’ve been hacked? Do you pay the ransom? It could be $500, $5,000, or even $50,000 dollars. What if you don’t get your data back? Who’s going to help you recover your files? Are you sure that the malware or ransomware is gone, and your system and data are now safe? If you are working on someone else’s film, and you lose their data due to a hack of your system, are you liable for the loss of their data and their potential loss of revenue if their film is delayed? Whether you are or aren’t, you can still get sued. What happens if you are selling your film or merchandise on your own website? Do you have a mailing list? If you’re hacked and that data gets stolen, you could be liable for a Privacy Breach, and by law, you are required to notify your customers of a breach of their personal information and could be held responsible. Cyber Insurance policies can cover Cyber Hacking, Cyber Security, Cyber Liability and losing money from Business Interruption. It will also pay for the data recovery, investigation, and even the ransom.
Cyber Insurance policies can vary to suit your needs. From having a professional Cyber Response Team to guide you through the process, to having legal consultants should a liability issue arise. Breach notification, credit monitoring, forensic investigation, and defence costs, costs of judgements or settlements. All of these may seem like a bevy of things that you may not think you need to worry about, but the costs add up quickly. Don’t pay out of pocket when a simple policy could have covered that for you. Cyber Insurance policies are an easy way to ensure that you are prepared, and able to get back up and running as quickly as possible. Speak to one of our team at Marquee Insurance and find out what we can do to make sure you are protected!