Posted by scarlett admin on Tue, Feb 22, 2022 @ 12:41pm

Has your organization observed a marked increase in the difficulty of cyber insurance questionnaires in 2022? These questionnaires are generally used by insurance providers to gauge risk associated with a policy. In the past, these questions generally covered basic cyber security practices such as Anti-Virus usage, patching, and other minor requirements that are generally considered the “bare minimum.”

Don’t get caught in an inadvertent lie on a Cyber Insurance Questionnaire or your claim will be denied.  Things have changed in the past couple of years. While the reasoning is only available to insurance agencies, we are of the opinion that this sharp increase in requirements for a cyber insurance policy are due to the plethora of successful attacks that have been occurring since the start of the pandemic. Cyber criminals thrive in uncertain times, and this major spike in activity has led to a correlated spike in insurance payouts.

Cyber Insurance providers are not in the business out of sheer charity – they exist to make a profit. When clients are being compromised left-and-right, times are bad all around. Incident response resources are strained (and thus more expensive), attackers demand higher payouts for ransoms, and clients become frustrated with slow remediation timelines. In order to counteract these increasing threats, a new minimum threshold had to be established that ensured risky clients were excluded from policies. These new cyber insurance standards caught many organizations off guard due to the night and day difference on previous prerequisites. Let’s dive into some of these core differences and why cyber insurance coverage isn’t as easy to obtain as it used to be.

Why Have Cyber Insurance Requirements and Premiums Increased?

Recent years have seen a sharp increase in successful attacks across nearly every industry, leading to an increase in cyber insurance premiums and requirements. IT is more critical than ever, leading to organizations exposing their core network when associates were forced into remote operations. An increase in successful attacks means an increase in insurance payouts.

Why Have Cyber Insurance Requirements Increased?

When these elements reach a breaking point, something has to give. Insurance providers across the nation have mandated minimum requirements to even be considered for coverage. Additionally, lying on these requirements carries major fines and even potential criminal charges. By aligning the prerequisites to a much more intensive standard, insurance providers are able to screen high-risk customers and provide service to those who have a comprehensive security plan.

How to answer new cyber insurance questions?

Always answer cyber insurance questionnaires as accurately and truthfully as possible, even if this requires hiring outside consultation. Cyber insurance prerequisites might seem excessive, but these controls are all tried-and-true solutions to help stop an attack. If anything, insurance questionnaires should be seen as the new minimum cybersecurity expectations for all organizations as a whole.

What is the core new concern in Cyber Insurance Questionnaires?

Concepts like in-depth access management provides the tools to enable comprehensive security around login and account activity. Critical to this is the management of passwords, enforcement of multi-factor authentication, and secure account permission policies. The idea is to remove the threat vector of single username + password that leads to so many compromises on a daily basis. Account security is generally the core focal point of the “automatic fail” questions often asked by insurance providers.

 

How to Maintain Cyber Insurance Compliance

Short and sweet – cyber insurance compliance is basic security compliance. Unless your organization is facing a drastically different type of form than we see on a daily basis with our clients, you should consider all questions asked as a bare-minimum standard for your industry. They wouldn’t be asking for these controls if they didn’t work. Insurance payouts are one of the most direct forms of financial impact from an attack, so their teams have the metrics necessary to validate successful defensive techniques.

  1. Multi-Factor Authentication on ALL Remote Access and Web Email
    1. If you can remote into the network, you will need to have MFA enabled.
    2. Don’t skip on this one – it will likely lead to denied coverage and poses a major security risk.
  2. Modern Endpoint Detection and Response on All Assets
    1. Anti-Virus is no longer enough to secure an environment.
    2. EDR is the new standard; these new tools provide prevention, detection, and response while enabling analysts to take much greater action when a threat is detected.
  3. Perimeter Security is Still Important
    1. Intrusion Prevention/Detection Systems, Next-Gen Firewalls, and Sandboxing are critical.
    2. Also ensure that your organization has Geo-IP blocking enabled.
  4. Backup + Disaster Recovery Planning + Incident Response Planning
    1. Ensure that you have an in-depth, tested backup and recovery plan alongside a Cyber Incident Response Plan.
    2. Disaster-Recovery-As-A-Service and Incident Response on Retainer are great services to fill gaps like this.
  5. Cyber Security Awareness Training and Phishing Simulations are Required
    1. Security without user training is ignoring the primary threat vector at most organizations.
    2. Test users with phishing simulations to ensure proper security practices.

 

Does Cyber Insurance Compliance Consulting Exist?

The Scarlett Group offers Cyber Insurance Consulting, emphasizing client security and insurance form compliance. Our team will help walk you through requirements, map solutions to these requirements, provide reputable vendors to fill the gaps, and even work with your insurance firm to adjust timelines and provide security plans. The Scarlett team deals with insurance on a near-daily basis, so we have the experience and resources to help. If you feel completely lost regarding cyber insurance, send our team an email at info@scarlettculture.com or check out this web page on cyber insurance compliance!

 

 

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