Firms Ink Cyber Insurance Pact

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 @ 02:02 PM gHale


Cybersecurity insurance is starting to become a bigger issue these days and now Munich, Germany-based Allianz is offering cyber insurance at competitive premiums with reduced deductibles.

The catch is the insured needs to be risk-assessed by Aon and use certain Cisco and Apple products.

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Everyone in the security world, be it information technology to operational technology, is coming to grips with the idea that security is all about managing risk. Along those lines, one of the traditional options for risk management is risk transfer, also known as insurance.

But while the cyber insurance option has increased in visibility, its adoption remains relatively low. In 2016, U.S. cyber insurance premiums were $1.35 billion. This is just 3.3 percent of the total premiums for U.S. commercial line insurers. Clearly, there is an opportunity for insurance companies to increase their own share of a potentially large market.

At the same time, product vendors are always looking for new opportunities to sell their products. The potential for linking specific product to reduced insurance premiums could help both industries to increase market share. 

This has been slow to materialize because insurance works on detailed statistics between risk and premiums. The catch is there are literally only a few years’ experience of a continuously changing and worsening information technology security world. The natural effect of this is that premiums have to be set at the higher end of the possible scale simply because nobody really understands the full risk.

Apple and Cisco have been working to change this.

This collaboration surfaced yesterday in the announcement of a deal with Allianz:

“A new cyber risk management solution for businesses, comprised of cyber resilience evaluation services from Aon, the most secure technology from Cisco and Apple, and options for enhanced cyber insurance coverage from Allianz,” Apple officials said about the deal with Allianz in a release.

This is not a general cyber insurance offering, but one specifically related to “cyber risk associated with ransomware and other malware-related threats, which are the most common threats faced by organizations today.”

There are three elements that could lead to the insurance deal. The first is that the candidate company is risk assessed by Aon, who will examine the company’s existing cyber security posture and make recommendations on how to improve existing defenses.

The second is that the candidate company should use Cisco Ransomware Defense and/or qualified Apple products iPhone, iPad and Mac. The third is that insured companies will then have access to Cisco and Aon incident response teams in the event of a malware attack.



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