Cyber risk is everywhere. From credential theft to misconfigurations to vulnerabilities and even phishing attempts, there are cyber criminals poking and prodding at organizations from every angle. This means that organizations not only need to up their cybersecurity, but they also need to think about it in terms of risk and how to holistically mitigate that risk — from identifying them to protecting against them to responding to them.
Ending cyber risk isn’t easy, but in recent years a new tool in the cybersecurity toolbox has emerged for organizations, and it’s one all should consider: cyber insurance.
Cyber insurance, like other kinds of liability insurance, gives organizations a variety of coverage in case of a cyber incident, breach, or specific kind of attack. Cyber insurance enables companies to transfer the cost of recovering from cyber incidents. A policy can cover the costs of damage to others, profits lost, and the cost of negotiating ransomware.
But obtaining cyber insurance isn’t always simple — especially in the age of remote work, ransomware- as-a-service, and digitization — so there’s a few things organizations need to understand as they work to implement cyber insurance.
What is Needed to Qualify for Cyber Insurance
Your organization realizes they need cyber insurance, now what? The first task is to evaluate current security architecture and understand what’s needed to qualify for a strong cyber security policy.
The basics that an organization needs:
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA). This identity and access management tool helps prevent credential theft and adds a layer of protection for user logins.
- Endpoint detection and response (EDR). This monitoring tool needs to have human or automated responses to endpoint alerts.
- System These backups need to happen frequently, need to be encrypted, need to be offline, and need to be regularly tested to ensure they work as intended.
- Email filtering and web security. Business email compromise (BEC) attacks are on the rise and, considering that email is the main form of communication for many businesses and vendors, that element has to be protected from cyber criminals.
- Patch Many attacks begin with external exposure, and, unfortunately, over half of all vulnerability-originating breaches could’ve been prevented with proper patching. Implementing a regular patch management strategy stops these threats in their tracks.
- Incident response planning and testing. Having a strong incident response plan, and testing that plan to make sure it works, is critical for saving time, costs, and data if the worst-case scenario occurs.
- Employee training. Users can be the first line of defense, and also a major target, when it comes to cybercrime. Building a strong culture of security awareness can prevent phishing attempts,
- Limit domain privileges for accounts. If a breach occurs, lateral movement can be an organization’s worst fear. By limiting how users can move through the environment, and what they can access, a business is also limiting how a hacker could move through the system if they were to gain access through credential theft or another method.
Why Organizations Need Cyber Insurance
Implementing and managing all the above is not a small task for any organization. It takes tools, people, and money to make it happen, and how those measures are implemented depends on budgets, business needs, and what risk an organization is willing to accept. So, why do all of that just to obtain insurance? There are a few reasons all organization leaders should consider:
- It helps transfer risk, so the business does not assume ALL cyber risk
- It helps the organization grow as they accept the challenge to make positive changes and further their security journey
- It enables secure value creation — a secure business is worth more to customers, partners, and the market
- It puts the organization in touch with risk mitigation resources and experts, unlocking an entire world of partners and assistance
- It helps deliver the framework an organization needs for proper incident response
All those aspects are beneficial to organizations from multiple perspectives. It’s important to note that cyber insurance alone can’t end risk, risk will always exist. But in the same way a beach-front property needs flood insurance, cyber insurance helps a business stay standing if a cyber storm blows in.
How to Obtain Cyber Insurance
Now that the benefits and requirements are understood, the remaining piece of the puzzle is to actually purchase insurance. First, an organization needs to work with a broker. Every policy, every business, and every risk factor are different, so working with a broker is critical in choosing the right policy for achieving specific security and business goals.
The basic steps are:
- An organization meets with a broker to discuss risk, needs, and policies
- The organization completes a questionnaire highlighting their internal security controls
- The broker takes that application to carriers and negotiates a rate and plan
- The business is presented with options and chooses a policy that meets their current and future
Of course, the process in real life is a little more complicated and nuanced, but that’s the outline of what an organization should expect.
Improving Insurability with Your IT Provider
As mentioned above, obtaining insurance is more complicated, and comes with more requirements, than just making a phone call or sending an email. As an SMB, it can be difficult to sift through what you need, whether you have those security controls, and which policy will mitigate your cyber risks.
That’s why SMBs need to work with their IT providers who, as trusted partners, can help them understand what they need and make it happen.
Your IT provider can play a crucial role in helping your organization with cyber insurance by enhancing its cybersecurity posture and overall risk management. By partnering with a managed services provider (MSP), such as DP Solutions, you demonstrate to insurers that you are proactively managing cyber risks. This proactive approach can lead to more favorable terms and conditions in cyber insurance policies, potentially lowering premiums and improving overall coverage. Additionally, working with an IT provider helps ensure that you are better prepared to prevent, detect, and respond to cyber incidents.
Learn more about cyber insurance at DP Solutions upcoming Cybersecurity Breakfast Panel:
Empowering Organizations with Cyber Insurance Strategies.