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Cyber Insurance: A layer of security against cyber breaches

Peter Sparkes, Symantec Senior Director, Cyber Security Services,APJ | Aug. 16, 2016
To avoid being hit by cyber breach, business leaders need to start reconsidering their approach towards cyber security.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

The speed and sophistication of today's cyber threats means that no organization is safe from attacks. Security is no longer about if, but when a company will be hit by a cyber-breach and business leaders need to start reconsidering their approach to cyber security.

Today's cyber attackers are more determined and persistent than ever before, employing increasingly sophisticated methods to compromise their targets. The Internet Security Insights Report Vol. 21 revealed that in 2015, over half a billion personal records were stolen or lost due to data breaches.

As a financial hub, Singapore based companies face high security risks, with 3.6 attacks per organization. In fact, Singapore ranks first in Asia Pacific and Japan in terms of spear-phishing/targeted attacks by destination, proving that cyber breaches are a real risk and a problem that should not be underestimated.

Whether an insider attack, or criminal fraud focused on websites and point-of-sale devices, data breaches are on the rise and the impact of a cyber attack to an organization's brand, reputation, and business operations can be catastrophic.

Though still in its nascent stages, cyber insurance has become a key element for companies looking at the full spectrum of cyber security preparedness and will fundamentally change how cyber security is purchased in next 5 years. While cyber insurance itself is not a defence, it can effectively add another layer of security and mitigate risks by complimenting IT security efforts and other information security oriented functions.

Here are some pointers that business leaders need to know when it comes to cyber insurance:

Cyber insurance is not a static program

Just like how technology is evolving at a rapid rate, cyber insurance is also becoming increasingly complex. What is considered core coverage today was not available as little as three years ago. To keep up with business needs and sophisticated cyber attacks, enhancements to coverage are negotiated in the marketplace every day. Companies need to carefully consider the differences in insurance products offered across the market and find a cyber policy with coverage that best suits their needs. 

Insurance brokers are more than just a sales contact

Choosing to transfer risk from the balance sheet by way of insurance is a daunting task and many companies struggle to understand the size and type of investment needed to be made in risk mitigation. Unlike other classes of the insurance industry, a broker represents the interests of companies and 

effectively assess cyber risks unique to the buyer. When investing in cyber insurance, work with an insurance broker to understand the assets at risk and how best to address them either under the existing insurance program or through a new dedicated product.  


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