Web Risks

Dec. 21, 2004

Every business creates a dizzying array of risks in manufacturing, distribution, sales and marketing, and customer service. With e-commerce, new risks have emerged, including:

  • Denial of service -- that is, loss of business and productivity caused by hacking.
  • Loss of reputation caused by hackers.
  • Theft of customer information, including credit data, by hackers.
  • Extortion threats and/or ransom demands by hackers.
  • Theft of electronic funds by hackers.
  • Theft or misuse of trade secrets or intellectual property by hackers.
  • Loss of advertising revenue caused by hacking.
  • Liability claims alleging damage to customers, business associates, or other third parties involving any of the above.
  • Fraud.
  • Advertising injury to third parties.
  • Patent or copyright infringement.
  • Misuse of trademarks or domain names.
  • Violation of privacy rights.
  • Violation of foreign commercial law. Because many of these losses involve no damage to property as traditionally defined, insurers don't yet know whether they can cover many of them, much less how to cover them. Consequently, companies can't insure themselves against many of the risks of e-commerce. That will change as insurers gain a better understanding of the risks of the new economy.
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