Cyber Attacks: The Newest Threat to Cultural Property

Cyber attacksIn the digital age, a new threat presents risks to our cultural collections. With the rise of cyber attacks, heritage protection professionals must ask new questions to ensure the safety of their collections.

Is your collection’s digital data backed up and safeguarded by up-to-date security?

Meticulous records and digital files can be swept away, impossible to recover or replace. Within the comprehensive Cultural Property Risk Analysis Model (CPRAM), cyber attacks have been identified and assessed as a root cause of a dissociation risk to collections, specifically the loss of databased collection information. Give your collection as much protection as possible.

Does your evaluation include all aspects of digital collection risk?

Don’t forget to check exactly what your risk insurance will cover. The inclusion of a cyber clause in your contract may not provide full protection. For instance, your insurance may provide coverage for data lost through cyber attack, but may not cover any physical damages, such as damages caused by the failure of temperature regulation systems.

Interestingly, AIG Insurance recently announced expansion of its cyber coverage to include physical risks stemming from cyber events.  This might be expected to cover catastrophic loss of temperature sensitive collections and possibly also physical damage from failure of climate control systems compromised by a cyber event.  As always, the extent and limitations of coverage are best discussed with the insurance representative at the time of policy renewal.

The best protection?

Comprehensive understanding of risks

Savvy collection care professionals adopt a comprehensive risk analysis perspective of preservation managements. By fully understanding all potentially insurable collection risks, they can negotiate their institution’s collection insurance from a position of full awareness. For this reason, any insurance negotiations should always include a team member with a strong understanding of risk analysis.