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Already a rapidly growing sector in the insurance industry, cybersecurity and data protection have become even more critical for organizations dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The legal team at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, which has a track record of assisting clients with cyber issues, is responding to the crisis.
The firm’s work in tackling cybersecurity issues earned it Business Insurance’s 2020 U.S. Insurance Award for Legal Team of the Year.
“This is a very hot topic, in terms of how to protect a company against cyber threats and mitigate the risk of having a remote workforce and what measures they should have in place,” said Anjali Das, a partner at Wilson Elser who chairs its national cybersecurity and data privacy practice team in Chicago.
“We have seen a huge uptick in cyber-related claims,” she said. “COVID-19 has actually multiplied the number of claims because the reality is that with the current remote workforce, there is a lot more potential for hacking and cyber threats than there has been.”
People working from home, often using personal laptops and cellphones, may not have the same levels of security and privacy protection as they would at their desktop computer, Ms. Das said. Added to this, personal email accounts are being hacked more and more frequently.
“We’ve seen growth, for example, in fraudulent wire transfers, because the same kinds of checks and balances and protocols may not be used. They are also more prone to being phished or clicking on fraudulent emails,” Ms. Das said.
With a cyber team already in place, Wilson Elser is prepared to help organizations to get through a cyberattack and the ensuing investigation, and deal with any privacy-law compliance issues. “We run a 24/7 hotline, so our team has to be prepared at any point in time. We’re ready to drop everything when we need to,” Ms. Das said.
She added that while organizations are responding and making cybersecurity a serious priority, the issue is not going away anytime soon.
“Organizations need to realize that this isn’t just a blip,” she said. “I think the long-term trend will be for more organizations to be virtual.”
Added to this is an uptick in global breaches. “This goes back to the fact that we have a global economy,” Ms. Das said.
• Anderson Kill P.C. — A policyholder law firm, Anderson Kill was lead counsel in numerous successful coverage disputes over the past several years.
• Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. — Liberty Mutual’s in-house legal team uses technology and a disciplined approach to protect, defend and advance the interests of the insurer, its policyholders and business partners.
• Pasich LLP — Pasich is a boutique insurance recovery law firm offering a variety of specialties including legal services related to natural disasters, where it has helped policyholders achieve significant recoveries for wildfire losses, among other things.
• Wiley Rein LLP — Wiley Rein provides legal services and strategic counseling to insurers. The firm has scored several high-profile victories for clients over the past several years.
This year, the Business Insurance U.S. Insurance Awards, like many other awards presented during 2020, took on a different format.