Cyber Insurance Coverage – How to Prepare

It’s no secret that with the COVID-19 pandemic, the cyber threat landscape has changed. Cyber insurance is no exception. With a significant increase in ransomware over the past few years, cyber insurance costs have risen 30 percent. Beyond the increase in cost, many providers are limiting cyber insurance coverage, or removing it all together.

But why is this, and what can your organization do about it to maintain your coverage? Recently, NetGain held a webinar with our Director of Security, Scott Logan, to discuss how to adapt to the changes in cyber insurance.

The What and the Why of Cyber Insurance Coverage Changes

Many people are wondering – why are insurance companies doing this? Logan explained that it is mainly due to the amount of money insurance providers have paid out in the last couple of years. As you can see in the chart below, the total amount of payout nearly doubled between 2019 and 2020. Cyber insurance companies can quite literally not afford to be lax any longer.

Credit: Arctic Wolf Networks

So, what has changed? Historically, Logan explained, cyber insurance applications have not required a large amount of information on security controls/policies in order to enact a cyber insurance policy. Due to the massive shift in the cyber landscape, providers now want more detail to better understand risks of insuring your organization. They want to understand processes and controls your business has deployed to protect itself from cyber threats. Additionally, new cyber insurance policies have more detail on what is actually covered – and what is not covered. Logan stressed the importance of reading through your entire cyber insurance policy to understand your coverage.

Cyber insurance providers are using your security controls to determine coverage – and if you don’t have these controls in place, your cyber insurance coverage can be reduced or even dropped altogether.

So – what can you do?

5 Controls to Prepare for Cyber Insurance Coverage

Logan explained that there are 5 baseline controls you can implement to receive or maintain a cyber insurance policy – Endpoint Detection Response/Managed Detection Response, Multi-Factor Authentication, Managed Threat Response, Policy Management and Social Awareness training.

1. Endpoint Detection Response/Managed Detection Response (EDR/MDR)

Both of these tools monitor parts of your environment and can include advanced threat detection controls. They can identify and often mitigate threats.

Important to note – despite their similar names, these two tools are not the same. EDR is specific to the protection of the endpoint, while MDR monitors your entire network, from the endpoint to the server to the perimeter

2. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

MFA is the practice of adding an additional authentication tool on top of a password. For example, many organizations use the application Google Authenticator, which provides a code to input after they enter their regular password, specific to the user and their cell phone or email. MFA helps to prevent a simple password breach from spreading to your entire network. For example, Logan explained, if a password is compromised and the organization does not have MFA, the hacker could log in as the compromised user and send malicious emails that seem completely legitimate to the entire company; not to mention the overall access to the network. With MFA, this is prevented as the hacker does not have access to the user’s cell phone or Google Authenticator application, so they never get past the log in.

3. Managed Threat Response (MTR)

Managed Threat Response is similar to MDR and EDR. It provides a detection platform using Artificial Intelligence (AI), behavioral analytics, and signature controls, to detect threats. MTR has a security operations center (SOC) behind it, and has the capability of notifying you of a threat as well as executing a remediation effort.

4. Policy Management

Security policies are being looked at more closely now by insurance providers, Logan said. They want to understand your security planning, including disaster recovery and backup, with tested response strategies like a test incident response plan. Network segregation and due diligence on your vendor security measures are important as well.

5. Social Awareness

Insurers want to see that you are actively training end users to recognize cyber threats to protect your organization. Training should be continual throughout the year, not a one-time training, and tests should be administered to ensure training is effective. An end users ability to recognize malicious items, like phishing emails, can mean the difference between keeping your organization safe and a complete breach of your systems.

How to Prepare for Cyber Insurance

Logan stressed the most important first steps are to gather your entire team – not just IT, but legal, compliance, HR, and more – and then consolidate all the security information about your organization. This way you can present all current security controls to the cyber insurance provider who is creating your policy, identifying vulnerabilities, and making a plan to address them. If you’re looking for a cyber insurance provider after you’ve prepared, talk to your current business insurance provider to see what options they have.

The important part of getting cyber insurance coverage after these changes, Logan explained, is not having everything be perfect. It is about demonstrating that you have proper security controls in place or are taking steps to add more controls.


Want more insights? Watch the full webinar >>

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