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Cyber Risk Insurance: Potential Liabilities & Emerging Trends

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Produced on August 27, 2019

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Course Information

Time 1h 1m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Insurance Privacy & Cybersecurity

Course Description

Data security incidents continue to grab headlines as big companies suffer big breaches of security and millions of records containing valuable personal information and protected health information are disclosed. There is no doubt, however, that businesses of all sizes face the risk of a data security event and the often debilitating effects on operations, customer relations, and ultimately the company’s bottom line. Appropriate security and privacy practices and procedures can help mitigate the risk of a security event happening. But if a security event does happen, cyber insurance can provide payment or reimbursement for a wide range of losses that may be incurred.

This program will provide an overview of the emerging trends and potential liability if a data security or privacy event occurs. The program will also review the leading and latest developments in cyber insurance coverage, including policy terms and court decisions, to identify trends and issues of interest to anyone providing advice or counsel to clients in this area.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Analyze emerging trends and potential liability if a data security or privacy event occurs
  2. Review the general scope and availability of potential insurance coverage under cyber policies
  3. Discuss the leading and latest case law on cyber insurance coverage

Credit Information

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David W. Opderbeck

Seton Hall

Mr. Opderbeck is a Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law and Director of the Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology. He focuses his practice on cybersecurity and computer law, privacy and civil rights, intellectual property, legal malpractice, and professional ethics. Professor Opderbeck’s passion for cybersecurity law and policy resulted in a multi-year grant-funded project, at Seton Hall University School of Law, sponsored by the Bergen County, New Jersey Prosecutor’s Office, which included new courses, continuing legal education programs, and the creation of a governmental working group on cybersecurity and cybercrime. He frequently appears in national and international media outlets and lectures to law enforcement agencies and other groups on cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and civil liberties.



  • University of Nottingham (Ph.D. Candidate)
  • New York University School of Law (LL.M., Trade Regulation)
  • Seton Hall University School of Law (J.D., cum laude)
  • Editor-in-Chief, Seton Hall Legislative Journal
  • Gordon College




State of New Jersey

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

United States Court of International Trade



• "Drone Courts," 44 Rutgers L.J. 413, 2014

• "The Problem With NeuroLaw," 58 St. Louis U. L.J. 497, 2014

• "Towards a Theology of Intellectual Property as Social Relations," 10 St. Thomas L.J. 738 Symposium, 2014

• "Does the Communications Act of 1934 Contain a Hidden Internet Kill Switch," 65 Federal Communications Law J. 1, 2013

• "Social Network Analysis of Patents and Trade Secrets as Social Relations," 41 Aipla Q. 355, 2013

• "Cybersecurity and Executive Power," 89 Washington U. L. Rev. 795, 2012

• "Rational Competition Policy and Reverse Payment Patent Settlements Under the Hatch-Waxman Act," 98 Georgetown L.J. 1303, 2010

• "Deconstructing Jefferson’s Candle: Towards a Critical Realist Approach to Cultural Environmentalism and Information Policy," 49 Jurimetrics 203, 2009

• "Patent Damages and the Shape of Patent Law," 89 Boston University Law Review 127, 2009

• "A Virtue Ethics Approach to the Biotechnology Commons (or, The Virtuous Penguin)," 59 Maine Law Rev. 316, 2007

• "The Penguin’s Paradox: The Political Economy of International Intellectual Property and the Paradox of Open Source," 18 Stanford Law & Policy Rev. 101, 2007

• "Patents, Essential Medicines, and the Innovation Game," 58 Vanderbilt Law Review 501, 2005

• "Peer-to-Peer Networks, Technological Darwinism, and Intellectual Property Reverse Private Attorney General Litigation," 20 Berkeley Technology Law J. 1, 2005

• "The Penguin’s Genome, or Coase and Open Source Biotechnology," 18 Harvard Journal of Law and Technology 168, 2004



• Speaker, Itechlaw 2014 World Technology Law Conference, “Dealing with Hackers,” New York, NY, May 2014

• Speaker, Religious Legal Theory Conference, “The NSA is/and the Antichrist,” Emory Law School, March 2014

• Speaker, Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology, “Federal Circuit Year in Review,” Newark, NJ, September 2013

• Speaker, New York State Wireless Association Meeting, “Mobile Payment Systems and Cybersecurity,” New York, NY, June 2013

• Webinar Speaker, American Bar Association, “Cyber Threats and Network Security Countermeasures: Keeping Your Intellectual Property and Secret Safe,” May 2013

• Organizer and Moderator, “Law and the Human Person Roundtable,” University of Notre Dame Law School, South Bend, IN, April 2013

• Speaker, Intellectual Property and Religious Conference, “Towards a Theology of Intellectual Property as Social Relations,” University of St. Thomas Law School, Minneapolis, MN, March 2013

• Speaker, Practicing Law Institute, “Think Like A Lawyer, Talk Like A Geek: Dealing With 

Hackers,” New York, NY, November 2012

• Speaker, New Jersey Prosecutors’ College, “Cybersecurity Law Update,” Atlantic City, NJ, 

September 2012

• Speaker, U.S. Military Academy, “Cybersecurity, Cyberwar, Cyberterrorism, and Civil Rights,” 

West Point, NY, April 2012

• Speaker, Internet Law Works In Progress Conference, “Does The Communications Act of 1934 Provide an Internet Kill Switch?,” New York Law School, March 2012

• Speaker, L'École Supérieure Catholique De Droit De Jérémie, “International Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines,” Haiti, March 2012

• Speaker, Religious Legal Theory Conference, “Beyond Bits, Memes And Utility Machines: Intellectual Property, Theology, and Metaphysics,” Pepperdine Law School, California, February 2012

• Speaker, New Jersey Public Defender’s CLE Program, “Computer Crimes Update,” Trenton, NJ, November 2011

• Speaker, New Jersey Marine Corps Reserve Terrorism Symposium, “Computer Crimes and Cyber-Terrorism,” New Jersey Institute of Technology, October 2011

• Speaker, New Jersey Prosecutor’s College, “Computer Crimes Update,” Atlantic City, NJ, September 2011

• Speaker, Seton Hall University School of Law Symposium, “Preparing for a Pharmaceutical Response to Pandemic Flu” and “State Sovereignty, Flu Viruses, and Intellectual Property, October 2008


• Speaker, Temple Law School Symposium, “The Evolution of Life-Saving Drugs: The Open 

Source Model and Beyond” and “Challenges for Open Source Biotechnology,” February 2006


• Speaker, Seton Hall University School of Law Symposium, “Peer-To-Peer Networking at the Crossroads” and “Copynorms and Filesharing Litigation,” April 2004

John T. Wolak

Gibbons P.C.

Mr. Wolak was recently named "Insurance Lawyer of the Year" (Newark, NJ) by Best Lawyers® and selected for the New Jersey Super Lawyers list, for Insurance Law. For almost 25 years, he has litigated matters involving hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance coverage for a broad range of clients and regularly provides strategic counseling and analysis of potential risks and exposures, policy terms and conditions, and claims resolution. He also represents clients on a broad range of complex commercial disputes, including contract claims, intellectual property matters, real property disputes, and restrictive covenant cases.


A wide variety of clients – including pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing companies, financial and educational institutions, telecommunications companies, professional service providers, and insurance companies – rely on Mr. Wolak’s advice and representation to achieve their objectives and resolve both insurance coverage matters and commercial disputes. He has also been retained as an expert witness/consultant on insurance issues and is a frequent speaker on insurance law topics. Prior to joining Gibbons, Mr. Wolak served as a law clerk to the Honorable Nicholas H. Politan of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.


Representative Experience

  • As specially retained appellate counsel, obtained reversal of a multimillion-dollar summary judgment award against his clients – the policyholder and its liability insurer – because the adversary lacked standing to prosecute its claims for indemnification, both directly and under the applicable policy 
  • Served as lead counsel for the firm in a confidential, three-week international arbitration in London under the English Arbitration Act commenced by a policyholder seeking $90 million of insurance coverage for personal injury claims arising out of the use of prescription medication
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of all claims by all parties against an insurer client, after extensive motion practice before the trial court and several appellate arguments, seeking to impose liability (directly and as co-insurers) in excess of $5 million for damages arising out of a construction site accident
  • Obtained multimillion-dollar insurance recovery for a claim based on construction defects and property damage to the substructure of residential units and a parking garage, as insurance coverage counsel for condominium development owners
  • Represented a large regional law firm in a dispute over the availability of insurance coverage and the extent of damages in connection with a business interruption claim based on direct property damage at law firm’s headquarters
  • Obtained insurance coverage for defense costs and indemnification for various claims asserted against an international brokerage firm involving employment practices liability coverage and employee dishonesty coverage that had initially been denied by the insurers
  • Represented a prominent university in New Jersey in successfully negotiating the resolution of an insurance coverage dispute with various insurers of a general contractor and subcontractors, concerning insurance coverage for construction defects in connection with major renovations to a science/chemistry facility
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of all claims asserted against an insurer client for alleged extra-contractual damages under a D&O policy for defense and potential liability of individual directors and officers for Fair Labor Standards Act violations
  • Successfully negotiated reimbursement of defense costs incurred in connection with a regulatory investigation by various state and federal agencies for a prominent New Jersey medical doctor


Judd H.

Excellent CLE.

Evan S.

great course

Carol A S.

Very good

alexander y.

This was a good overview on cyber liability basics and the importance of risk management + proper cyber insurance

Scott R.

High stakes and insurance

Deborah Lynn W.

A new area for me, and this was a great introduction.

Barry G.

Very thorough.

William B.

Great presentation.

Leonard S.

Well done. The slides were great.

Karen M.

Excellent presentation. Very substantive and practical. Thank you

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