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What’s Changing in the Cybersecurity Insurance Market?

Cybersecurity insurance is still a pretty new concept for many SMBs. It was initially introduced in the 1990s to provide coverage for large enterprises. It covered things like data processing errors and online media.

Since that time, the policies for this type of liability coverage have changed. Today’s cyber insurance policies cover the typical costs of a data breach. Including remediating a malware infection or compromised account.

Cybersecurity insurance policies will cover the costs for things like:

  • Recovering compromised data
  • Repairing computer systems
  • Notifying customers about a data breach
  • Providing personal identity monitoring
  • IT forensics to investigate the breach
  • Legal expenses
  • Ransomware payments

Data breach volume and costs continue to rise. 2021 set a record for the most recorded data breaches on record. And in the first quarter of 2022, breaches were up 14% over the prior year.

No one is safe. Even small businesses find they are targets. They often have more to lose than larger enterprises as well. About 60% of small businesses close down within 6 months of a cyber incident.

The increase in online danger and rising costs of a breach have led to changes in this type of insurance. The cybersecurity insurance industry is ever evolving. Businesses need to keep up with these trends to ensure they can stay protected.

Here are some of the cyber liability insurance trends you need to know about.

Demand is Going Up

The average cost of a data breach is currently $4.35 million (global average). In the U.S., it’s more than double that, at $9.44 million. As these costs continue to balloon, so does the demand for cybersecurity insurance.

Companies of all types are realizing that cyber insurance is critical. It’s as important as their business liability insurance. Without that protection, they can easily go under in the case of a single data breach.

With demand increasing, look for more availability of cybersecurity insurance. This also means more policy options, which is good for those seeking coverage.

Premiums are Increasing

With the increase in cyberattacks has come an increase in insurance payouts. Insurance companies are increasing premiums to keep up. In 2021, cyber insurance premiums rose by a staggering 74%.

The costs from lawsuits, ransomware payouts, and other remediation have driven this increase. Insurance carriers aren’t willing to lose money on cybersecurity policies. Thus, those policies are getting more expensive. This is at the same time as they are more necessary.

Certain Coverages are Being Dropped

Certain types of coverage are getting more difficult to find. For example, some insurance carriers are dropping coverage for “nation-state” attacks. These are attacks that come from a government.

Many governments have ties to known hacking groups. So, a ransomware attack that hits consumers and businesses can very well be in this category.

In 2021, 21% of nation-state attacks targeted consumers, and 79% targeted enterprises. So, if you see that an insurance policy excludes these types of attacks, be very wary.

Another type of attack payout that is being dropped from some policies is ransomware. Between Q1 and Q2 of 2022, ransomware attacks increased by 24%.

Insurance carriers are tired of unsecured clients relying on them to pay the ransom. So many are excluding ransomware payouts from policies. This puts a bigger burden on organizations. They need to ensure their backup and recovery strategy is well planned.

It’s Harder to Qualify

Just because you want cybersecurity insurance, doesn’t mean you’ll qualify for it. Qualifications are becoming stiffer. Insurance carriers aren’t willing to take chances. Especially on companies with poor cyber hygiene.

Some of the factors that insurance carriers look at include:

  • Network security
  • Use of things like multi-factor authentication
  • BYOD and device security policies
  • Advanced threat protection
  • Automated security processes
  • Backup and recovery strategy
  • Administrative access to systems
  • Anti-phishing tactics
  • Employee security training

You’ll often need to fill out a lengthy questionnaire when applying for insurance. This includes several questions about your cybersecurity situation. It’s a good idea to have your IT provider help you with this.

This can seem like a lot of work that you have to do to qualify for cyber insurance. As you review the questions, your IT partner can identify security enhancements. Just like other forms of insurance, if you take steps to reduce risk, it can often reduce your premiums.

So, it pays to do a cybersecurity review before applying for cyber insurance. You can save yourself time and money. It can also fortify your defenses against cyberattacks.

Need Help Making Sense of Cybersecurity Policies?

Cybersecurity coverage and insurance applications can be complex. If you answer wrong on a question, it can mean paying hundreds more in premiums than you should.

If you’re considering cybersecurity insurance, don’t go it alone. Give us a call and schedule a consultation. We can explain the policy details and provide guidance.


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

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What Cybersecurity Attack Trends Should You Watch Out for…

The new year has just begun and it’s a time of renewal as we plan for the possibilities to come in 2023. It’s also a time when you need to plan for resiliency in the face of ever-present cyberattacks.

Sixty-eight percent of surveyed business leaders feel that cybersecurity risks are getting worse. They have a good reason. Attacks continue to get more sophisticated. They are also often perpetrated by large criminal organizations. These criminal groups treat these attacks like a business.

In 2021, the average number of global cyberattacks increased by 15.1%.

To protect your business in the coming year, it’s important to watch the attack trends. What new methods are hackers using? What types of attacks are increasing in volume? Knowing these things is important. It helps you better update your IT security to mitigate the risk of a data breach or malware infection.

We’ve pulled out the security crystal ball for the upcoming year. And we’ve researched what cybersecurity experts are expecting. Here are the attack trends that you need to watch out for.

Attacks on 5G Devices

The world has been buzzing about 5G for a few years. It is finally beginning to fulfill the promise of lightning-fast internet. As providers build out the infrastructure, you can expect this to be a high-attack area.

Hackers are looking to take advantage of the 5G hardware used for routers, mobile devices, and PCs. Anytime you have a new technology like this, it’s bound to have some code vulnerabilities. This is exactly what hackers are looking to exploit.

You can prepare by being aware of the firmware security in the devices you buy. This is especially true for those enabled for 5G. Some manufacturers will build better firmware security into their designs than others. Make sure to ask about this when purchasing new devices.

One-time Password (OTP) Bypass

This alarming new trend is designed to get past one of the best forms of account security. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is well-known as very effective at preventing fraudulent sign-in attempts. It can stop account takeovers even in cases where the criminal has the user’s password.

There are a few different ways that hackers try to bypass MFA. These include:

  • Reusing a token: Gaining access to a recent user OTP and trying to reuse it
  • Sharing unused tokens: The hacker uses their own account to get an OTP. Then attempts to use that OTP on a different account.
  • Leaked token: Using an OTP token leaked through a web application.
  • Password reset function: A hacker uses phishing to fool the user into resetting a password. They then trick them into handing over their OTP via text or email.

Attacks Surrounding World Events

During the pandemic, the cyberattack volume increased by approximately 600%. Large criminal hacking groups have realized that world events and disasters are lucrative.

They launch phishing campaigns for world events. Attacks come for everything from the latest hurricane or typhoon to the war in Ukraine. Unsuspecting people often fall for these scams. This is because they are often distracted by the crisis.

People need to be especially mindful of scams surrounding events like these. They will often use social engineering tactics, such as sad photos, to play on the emotions.

Smishing & Mobile Device Attacks

Mobile devices go with us just about everywhere these days. This direct connection to a potential victim is not lost on cybercriminals. Look for more mobile device-based attacks, including SMS-based phishing (“smishing”).

Many people aren’t expecting to receive fake messages to their personal numbers. But cell numbers are no longer as private as they once were. Hackers can buy lists of them online. They then craft convincing fake texts that look like shipping notices or receipts. One wrong click is all it takes for an account or data breach.

Mobile malware is also on the rise. During the first few months of 2022, malware targeted to mobile devices rose by 500%. It’s important to ensure that you have good mobile anti-malware. As well as other protections on your devices, such as a DNS filter.

Elevated Phishing Using AI & Machine Learning

These days, phishing emails are not so easy to spot. It used to be that they nearly always had spelling errors or grainy images. While some still do, most don’t.

Criminal groups elevate today’s phishing using AI and machine learning. Not only will it look identical to a real brand’s emails, but it will also come personalized. Hackers use these tactics to capture more victims. They also allow hackers to send out more targeted phishing messages in less time than in years past.

Schedule a Cybersecurity Check-Up Today

Is your business prepared for the cyber threats coming in 2023? Don’t wait to find out the hard way! Give us a call and schedule a cybersecurity check-up to stay one step ahead of the digital criminals.


Featured Image Credit

This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

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Don’t Set Yourself Up to Fail: Tips for Safer…

The global home security market has been growing by leaps and bounds. By 2026, experts expect the market to expand at a rate of 20.1%. This is on top of an expected increase of 21.6% from 2021 to 2022.

From Ring doorbell cams to entire home security systems, consumers want these solutions. Watching your front door from afar has never been so easy. With cloud-based video streams, homeowners can view any part of their home.

Sharing doorbell camera shots on neighborhood social media groups is now common. These home security systems also provide peace of mind at a wallet-friendly cost.

But don’t let the ease of setup fool you. Home security cameras can open your family up to risks if you don’t take precautions. Often, people are so excited to see what they can do, they don’t stop to think about device security.

There are horror stories online about hacked video cameras. This includes strangers saying disturbing things through those cameras to children.

Additionally, in 2019, Ring suffered a data breach. That breach exposed the personal data of over 3,000 Ring users. This included usernames and passwords.

It’s enough to make you reconsider your decision to add extra security. But don’t let those incidents scare you off. You can properly secure a home video camera system to ensure it’s not breached.

Here are some of the things you should do for a safe home security setup.

Make Sure Your Router is Secure

You access an IP security camera via the internet. Any commands going to the system or footage coming from it go through your router. So, you need to make sure that your router is properly secured.

Hackers breach routers so they can get to the devices connected to that network. Ensure your router security protocol is no lower than WPA2. The next generation, WPA3, is even better. These protocols govern the protection of data transmitted through the wireless network.

Give the router a strong password that is at least 12 characters long. Software can crack a password of only 8 standard characters instantly. But a 12-character password with at least one upper case letter, number, and symbol takes 34,000 years.

Change the Default Username & Password

You also need a strong password for your security system’s admin account. You should also change the default device and username. Hackers have lists of all these device defaults and use them to break into these systems. 

Changing the default username and password for the device should be one of the first things you do. Otherwise, it could be mere minutes after you connect to the internet that you’re hacked.

Ensure the System Uses SSL/TLS Or Other Encryption

You don’t want the footage from your cameras transmitted for anyone to grab and watch. Make sure the security system you choose notes SSL/TLS. Or another standard encryption.

This ensures that the data cannot be intercepted and accessed. SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer, and TLS is short for Transport Layer Security. Without a form of encryption, a hacker can easily breach your device.

Keep the Software Updated

If your security system has an automatic update feature, turn that on. Unfortunately, many users don’t think about updating their device software. This leaves it more vulnerable to a hack.

Updates often include important security fixes for found vulnerabilities. You want to make sure updates install promptly. That’s why automating this is best.

Consider Access Levels for Multiple Users

Do you have several family members accessing your cloud-based security device? If so, set up some access levels. Not everyone needs to be at an administrator level.

Hackers love it when they can breach the login of an admin user for an account. This gives them more privileges, like changing settings. Giving lower-level privileges, such as “view only,” to most family members improves security.

Enable Camera Security Features

There will be various security features that are available with your system. Manufacturers often do not enable all security settings by default. The user must turn all or some of them on.

If you’re unsure of what settings should be on or off, we’ll be happy to help. Some home security systems have generous sharing options. This can be an invitation for hackers. You want to restrict these as much as possible.

Make Sure Your Mobile Device is Secure

Most people access their security cam through their smartphone. Make sure that you secure yours and keep it updated with the latest operating system. Hackers can gain access to a security system through a device with weak safeguards.

Add things like:

  • Mobile anti-malware
  • DNS filtering
  • Screen lock
  • Automated updating

Looking for Help Protecting Your Cloud Security System?

Give us a call and schedule a visit. We’ll be happy to help you ensure your security system is set up with best practices. Article used with permission from The Technology Press.