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FORTIFY YOUR CYBER FORTRESS: Defending Against Invisible Threats

By: Dataprise

cyber resilience

Table of content

With so much digital data out there, there’s no denying that invisible threats can be found at every turn. To really defend against reputational or revenue loss, companies and organizations need to go a step beyond standard cybersecurity. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) like Dataprise and cyber insurers like Risk Cooperative are pushing clients to think through the many ramifications of cyber attacks and recommending solutions on how to give yourself the advantage.

What Is Cyber Resilience?

Cyber resilience refers to cybersecurity, incident response, business continuity, and disaster recovery policies. In other words, it’s not enough to implement encryption and firewalls. Companies need to think about how they’ll respond at different stages to any given threat, whether it’s a hacker or a natural disaster. They also need to consider how to reduce the price of these efforts by transferring the cost to another party.

What Is Cyber Insurance?

Cyber insurance is a way to cover loss from attacks, breaches, or other incidents that compromise your digital assets. Cyber insurance may cover:

  • Security and Privacy Liability Coverage (Includes Employee Privacy)
  • Security Breach Response/Assessment
  • Multimedia Liability
  • Privacy Regulatory Claims Coverage
  • PCI-DSS Assessment Coverage
  • Cyber Extortion Coverage
  • Business Income Interruption
  • Reputational Harm Loss
  • Digital Asset Restoration Costs
  • Technology Errors & Omissions

Cyber insurance has fluctuated widely, both in terms of coverage and price. The best providers are ones that can step in during a crisis to minimize loss. The main benefit of cyber insurance is the ability to convert unlimited financial ramifications into a fixed premium cost, though today’s insurers can also provide technical expertise to attack the problem from all sides.

The Cyber Resilience and Insurance Connection

Like all insurance policies, coverage and compensation of cyber insurance varies widely from provider to provider. Much like you might purchase an advanced security system for discounts on your home insurance, implementing additional cyber resilience protocols can help you get the provider you want at the price you want.

In the best-case scenario, cyber insurance covers practically any costs associated with a breach and helps your company get back up and running faster. Whether it’s ransomware or lost revenue while your systems are down, you can count on your policy carrier to pick up the slack.

Choosing Cyber Insurance for Your Company

Cyber insurance was first introduced in 1997, and since then, the rules have drastically changed. Over the years, underwriters had to adjust the pricing and coverage based on massive losses as the threat landscape widened. Major organizations were and still are the core buyers for stand-alone cyber insurance, with smaller organizations largely relying on bundled policies, which provide limited coverage for some cyber incidents.

Protecting your digital fortress begins with researching how different insurance carriers respond to incidents and claims. Because cyber threats are always evolving, so too are the policy options. If you haven’t been involved with the policy selection process, you can easily make assumptions about coverage. Companies that haven’t improved or maintained their cybersecurity posture may find that they’re dropped for coverage or only picked up by bad actors in the insurance industry.

Ideally, your policy should be stand-alone with stop-gap coverage, as opposed to bundled with the rest of your insurance. With the former type of policy, you’re more likely to get the support you need to recover after an event. For instance, if you need to bring in an MSP after a cataclysmic event to get everything back up and running, a cyber insurer can both arrange the assistance and cover the costs.

Threats On the Horizon

The current threat landscape has led to some predictions about what to expect from now until 2030. Many of the threat iterations are mainstays, including human error and disinformation campaigns. However, we’re likely to see more hybrid attacks, AI abuse, and smart device attacks.

When the attack on SolarWinds (which exploited multiple vulnerabilities in monitoring software) went undiscovered for months, it was a stark lesson for hackers of every variety. We can expect to see more state-sponsored hacking and espionage, which are less to do with money than political disruption and control. This is all, unfortunately, augmented by an anticipated skill shortage in organizations.

Based on the evolving technology, especially artificial intelligence, underwriters have to account for these new opportunities (and the players they attract). With AI, there’s often no time to react. The techniques may be so sophisticated that staff may not think twice about following a direction.

There’s also been more talk about how hackers can use quantum computing to break complex encryption codes. While it is still likely years in the future before this is a real danger, we can’t afford to wait until the technology advances. Cyber insurers are invested in cyber resilience because it reduces both the pay-outs and the work needed on everyone’s end.

One key pain point in insurance, though, is that underwriters don’t always have the right data, and this is a problem that the sector faces across the board. If the insured doesn’t have enough deep technical knowledge, they often end up either leaving off key facts or misreporting their cyber resilience. These incorrect assumptions can lead to anything from mispriced policies to unpaid claims. Some companies, like Risk Cooperative, have streamlined the application process in an attempt to clarify and verify the information they need to underwrite policies properly.

Increasing Cyber Resilience

MSPs like Dataprise have long seen how network trust can lead people astray. There’s a tendency to assume that users on the network are meant to be there. For years, tools like multifactor authentication have been a viable tool to verify identity, but with the threats such as they are, the new push is for a zero-trust format.

With this cyber security strategy, there are no assumptions that anything can be trusted. Whether the user is inside or outside the network, there is constant verification of who is on the other side. There are also alerts when the user attempts to do anything new, challenging their actions thanks to intelligent software.

Biometric authentication is also becoming increasingly popular, because your face, voice, gait, iris, and fingerprint are all unique to you. Ideally, there will be multiple biometric identifications chosen at random, as this is one of the most fraud-resistant types of cyber resilience. With biometric identification, there’s no need to remember a password or carry a key card at all times.

The Importance of Fortification

When many companies, especially smaller companies, still haven’t mastered cybersecurity, it can be difficult to push up to the next level. The risks of getting left behind, though, are simply too high to take the chance. If the goal is to have comprehensive cyber coverage, the first step has to be implementing security tactics that will keep bad actors out.

MSPs like Dataprise can be the key to bringing in additional support to qualify for a better policy (and a more affordable premium). Despite the benefits of stepping up your resilience, the cost and the efforts of implementing make it a high bar for many companies to clear. Those that can get ahead of the game, though, stand to save a lot more than they spend.

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