The Cyber Insurance Conundrum: Balancing Protection and Affordability

how to lower your cyber insurance

The Cyber Insurance Conundrum: Balancing Protection and Affordability

As cyber threats evolved into sophisticated and pervasive forms, the cyber security insurance landscape underwent a tumultuous transformation. Initially, companies viewed cyber insurance as a safety net against digital breaches, leading to underpriced policies due to a lack of understanding of risks. Insurers, eager to tap into this market, may have overlooked cybersecurity intricacies and skipped thorough client security audits.

However, as cyberattacks increased in frequency and magnitude, the true cost of oversights became apparent. High-profile breaches and ransomware attacks caused severe financial and reputational damage to businesses. Consequently, insurers faced unprecedented payouts, prompting significant premium increases to mitigate losses.

To restore stability, insurers are implementing stricter underwriting practices and demanding rigorous cybersecurity protocols from clients. By conducting thorough cybersecurity assessments and promoting risk mitigation, insurers aim to regain confidence in pricing policies accurately and providing adequate coverage against cyber risks.

In essence, the rise in cyber liability insurance prices reflects a reassessment of risk within the industry, driven by a deeper understanding of the relationship between cybersecurity and financial stability. As businesses navigate the evolving threat landscape, cyber insurance remains indispensable, albeit at a cost reflecting the true value of protection against cyber threats.

Understanding cyber insurance for small business

Your small business needs cyber liability insurance to protect against the financial risks associated with cyber threats. Cyberattacks are increasingly common and can result in significant financial losses due to data breaches, ransomware, or other malicious activities. Without cyber liability insurance, your company could face steep costs for legal fees, regulatory fines, and customer compensation in the event of a data breach. By investing in cyber liability insurance, you’re safeguarding your business’s financial health and reputation, ensuring that you can recover swiftly from any cyber incident without bearing the full financial burden.

Cyber insurance operates much like fire insurance, serving as a vital component in your overall risk management strategy. Just as having fire insurance doesn’t render fire exits and smoke alarms unnecessary, cyber insurance complements robust cybersecurity measures. When combined, they create a comprehensive shield against potential threats.

It’s important to recognize that not all policies and insurance providers offer the same level of coverage. If your cyber insurance application didn’t delve deeply into your IT practices, chances are it provides minimal protection.

While umbrella insurance might seem like a catch-all solution, it’s insufficient for addressing your specific cyber risk exposure. If you’ve opted for this route, consulting with your IT provider is essential to ascertain the extent of coverage and identify any gaps that need addressing.

How can I obtain cyber insurance for my small business?

First, check if there’s a questionnaire provided, and review how it was completed. Most questionnaires will include straightforward inquiries, such as confirming if your VPN, systems, and email have multi-factor authentication (MFA) enabled, and if you have an Incident Response Plan in place, among other things. Take the time to review these questions and ensure there are no simple adjustments you can make to improve your responses. Additionally, some insurers offer discounts for businesses with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in place.

When is it time to get cyber insurance?

If your company has not put real effort into implementing the basic security strategies that the Cybersecurity Insurance companies will want to see, that money would be better served implementing those strategies first. For example, MFA for all staff, Managed SOC, Finance controls, Administrator accounts permission limiting, Privilege escalation and lateral movement detection are all good candidates to spend money on before the Insurance plan becomes feasible.

Here’s a short list of some of the items cyber insurance providers will look for before providing cyber insurance:

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):

MFA adds layers of security by requiring users to authenticate their identity through multiple factors, like passwords, biometrics, or physical tokens. It’s a crucial defense against unauthorized access to sensitive data.

  • Security Awareness Training & Testing:

Businesses must provide regular training to employees to enhance their awareness of security threats and procedures. Conducting mock phishing campaigns helps instill vigilance and reduces the risk of falling victim to cyberattacks.

  • Separate Backups:

Having multiple backups stored separately from the main environment ensures data remains accessible even if one backup is compromised. This practice is vital for obtaining cyber insurance coverage and mitigating the impact of data breaches.

  • Endpoint Detection & Response/Managed Detection & Response (EDR/MDR):

EDR and MDR are critical components of cybersecurity, capable of identifying and responding to high-risk behaviors or cyber threats. MDR, a service that includes real-time monitoring and threat response, adds an extra layer of protection.

  • Vulnerability Management:

Vulnerability management involves the continuous process of detecting, classifying, and mitigating security vulnerabilities. Regular vulnerability scanning, both internally and externally, is essential for identifying and addressing weaknesses before they are exploited by threat actors. It’s a prerequisite for cyber insurance coverage, reflecting its importance in risk mitigation and prevention.

Need help obtaining cyber insurance or lowering your cyber insurance premium?

When pursuing cyber risk insurance for your small business, it’s crucial to involve your IT company early in the process. They can provide valuable insights into your current cybersecurity measures and assist in addressing any gaps or vulnerabilities that may affect your insurance application. By collaborating with your IT experts from the outset, you can ensure that your business is well-prepared to meet the requirements of the insurance application and potentially qualify for better cyber insurance coverage or discounts.

As Philadelphia’s leading Small Business managed IT services provider, we’ve assisted numerous small businesses in acquiring cyber insurance and reducing their premiums by implementing the protective measures we offer to all our clients. If you’re ready to take steps towards ensuring proper cybersecurity for your business, reach out to us at Proper Sky today—we’re here to assist you!

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