Cyber Insurance – 2016

Cyber Insurance

2015 was a pivotable year for cyber insurance , with a number of high profile incidents involving cyber crime and data breaches occurring around the world. This tested policy wordings and provided a perspective of how such claims will be managed by insurers.

The topic of cyber insurance is now firmly on the agenda’s of many businesses and rates high on risk registers , how this exposure is managed is very much down to the individual approach of a business and how their perceive a cyber threat would impact.

The need for cyber insurance will be determined by the risk landscape which operates in a dynamic technological environment.

Some of the factors that may influence the growth of this specialist form of insurance  are likely to be the following :-

  • A cyber security breach is almost inevitable and more emphasis will be placed on CEO’s and CISO’s to become responsible for data breaches and how they are able to mitigate such cyber risks within a business.
  • The threat of cyber attacks to critical infrastructure , whether this be of a political or criminal nature.
  • The “Internet of Things” , as electronic devices become inter connected , this increases the opportunity for cyber crime and data breaches to take place.
  • Cyber security businesses will be in increasing demand as insurers will depend more and more on their expertise in the assessment and management of cyber risks.
  • The increase in ransomware gangs as they utilise more sophisticated malware which businesses may fail to recognise should they not maintain the latest cyber security methodology .
  • Cloud security is perceived as a larger than life threat as many businesses now rely to a certain extent on this form of developing technology for storing data. How safe this technology has not yet really been been subject to hackers focus and presents a real threat to the safeguard of data.
  • Certain businesses sectors remain a high risk, such as health , finance and on-line retailers. This are the sectors where there is the highest take up of cyber insurance and it is conceivable that this will continue.
  • The growing threat of cyber terrorism will remain with terrorist groups targeting government, military and critical infrastructures.

It will be fascinating to see how these factors do influence the rise of cyber insurance , in the course of events insurers will need to develop their products to respond to the evolving cyber risks that will unfold this year.

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Cyber Liability – The Internet of Things

Cyber Liability - The Internet of Things

The “Internet of Things” is the product of the increasing connectivity of corporate computing infrastructures, industrial machinery and electronic consumer devices.

This provides new cyber threats to businesses which will need to be managed through a combination of robust cyber security measures and cyber liability insurance.

The phase, the “Internet of Things” is associated with devices that are capable of communicating via the internet through programmed commands or by “learning “patterns of behaviour and activity so as to recognize common occurrences  in our daily lives and communicating with other devices accordingly

With more devices and people being connected to the internet in the coming years, this will produce a global impact with the estimated market for the “Internet of Things”thought to be $66 billion between now and 2019.

From a business and consumer perspective this has many advantages , whether it be controlling an industrial process remotely to switching on your central heating whilst you are on the way home on a train, it does however come with very real cyber related threats.

The main threat bought by the “Internet of Things” is the vulnerability of the loss of data and the compromising of personal information as devices will have access to such information about a business or individual . This scenario makes it a prime target for a security breach from a targeted hacker attack.

Examples of recent attacks this year :-

  • Hacking attack of a German steel mill where hackers gained control of a smelting furnace and caused it to over heat resulting in damage to the furnace and interruption to the business.
  • Hackers took remote control of cars steering , braking and acceleration
  • Baby monitors being hacked allowing third parties to control the monitors

This year Lloyd’s of London commissioned a report where a hypothetical attack was carried on the  electricity grid of the Eastern US. It was calculated that the loss could equate to $2 trillion which would not all be covered by insurance.

A cyber liability insurance policy will provide coverage for both third party and first party losses. This encompasses a businesses third party liability and first party exposures resulting from a data security breach , the response and associated investigation costs . It can also respond to business interruption loss  and damage to a businesses computer systems and it’s data. The policy however is unlikely to respond to all first party damage and claims involving bodily injury . It will therefore be necessary for other insurance policies to be reviewed by your insurance broker to ensure that an any gaps in coverage are appropriately addressed.