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Digital Protections: How Businesses Can Improve Their Cyber Resiliency

June 27, 2022

By Jordan Freeman, Sales Executive

Cyber-attacks have grown exponentially since the onset of the pandemic, increasing demand for cyber insurance and cybersecurity controls.

In tandem with the number of cyberattacks, the number of claims and lost money have increased as well. Ransomware attacks spiked 148% from 2020 to 2021 as the average ransom paid last year hit $6.3 million.

As claims climb, carriers are expected to keep raising rates to offset losses and better reflect the heightened risk of cybercrime. Specifically, they’re increasing self-insured retention limits while adjusting their terms and conditions, mainly related to exclusions.

As of right now, demand for cyber insurance is skyrocketing, while the supply/capacity remains limited. Despite that, the cyber insurance market is likely to be one of the fastest-growing insurance markets over the next five to 10 years.

Cyber Protections Beyond Insurance

Considering the growing number of claims and limited number of cyber insurance offerings, business owners may be asking what they can do to adequately protect their systems, data and operations from hackers and cybercriminals.

The answer is: A lot.

Businesses can — and must — implement current recommended cybersecurity protocols and controls to ensure their operations and systems are as protected as can be. Such controls not only limit the risk of falling prey to cybercriminals, but cybersecurity protocols have become a necessity to secure cyber insurance coverage.

Improving Cybersecurity Protocols

Here is a breakdown of several protocols and controls businesses should consider putting in place to better protect their data, systems and operations from cyberattacks:

Improved security controls: Network security controls are a must for all businesses. At a minimum, these should include endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions that monitor the devices connected to a company’s network, as well as tested backups and multi-factor authentication (MFA) login methods requiring employees to login using additional credentials beyond their username and password.

Access monitoring: Businesses also should set up controls that monitor system access. These include privileged access management (PAM), which manages and limits access to certain systems and data to only a privileged few, as well as network protections that log whenever users log in and out.

Cyber incident response plan: Also known as IR plans, these are a set of instructions that lay out how a company prepares for, detects, responds to and recovers from cyberattacks. Businesses should use their IR plans in conjunction with penetration testing to determine any gaps in response.

Employee awareness training: Such trainings help educate employees about cybersecurity issues, including how to identify phishing and social engineering attempts while providing the best practices to properly secure data and network access.

Create end-of-life process: Companies should institute a process for sunsetting software and devices that no longer receive security updates or are otherwise outdated. Continued use of older devices and applications increases the risk of hackers gaining access using potential vulnerabilities.

Consult insurance broker: Insurance brokers are important resources for businesses who can provide guidance and understanding related to potential cyber risks and associated costs.

At Lovitt & Touché and Marsh McLennan Agency, we help clients address cyber risk threats by providing actionable information and partner resources to assist with three distinct areas of cyber risk management: proactive information security, legal components of compliance and risk management, and employee cybersecurity training & simulations. Learn more about how to take advantage of MMA’s Cyber Resiliency Network.