Warren County considers cyber crime insurance policy
QUEENSBURY, Apr 01, 2012 (The Post-Star - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Warren County wants to insure itself against cyber crime.
The county is getting quotes for "cyber security insurance," a policy that could cost $60,000 or more but would protect the county from liability county Attorney Martin Auffredou said could stretch into the tens of millions of dollars.
The county Board of Supervisors Support Services Committee discussed the need for the insurance and the possible risks earlier this month, but the potential cost has some questioning whether it is worth the expense.
Auffredou said the estimate his office received for Warren County was $60,000 for a policy, and neighboring Essex County was considering a policy that costs $80,000.
It would not just cover hacking or theft of data,
but would also provide coverage if a former employee improperly released information, or someone stole or lost a laptop or portable storage device.
"Five to 10 million (dollars) in liability would be nothing in one of these attacks," Auffredou said.
He added he was aware of one case outside the county where a laptop was lost with personal information related to veterans on it, and the estimated liability was $100 million.
The county does not take credit cards through any of its agencies, but has considered taking them to pay taxes. Auffredou said the storage of that kind of data would be attractive to criminals.
Saratoga County is considering purchasing the insurance, while Washington County has not considered it, he said.
Albany County has $5 million in cyber security insurance, though it was not mentioned how much it cost.
Warrensburg Supervisor Kevin Geraghty, the county's budget officer, said the board should seek the coverage the county's Information Technology personnel believe is necessary.
"It's expensive," he said of the coverage. "If our IT department feels it's necessary, we should listen to what they have to say. You do have to protect this information. These people (cyber criminals) find a way."
The county's director of information technology could not be reached for comment late Friday afternoon.
The Support Services Committee did not make a decision on the issue, pending further quotes and information from Auffredou.
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