3 min read
How Strengthening Cybersecurity Helps Increase Insurability
In today’s digital landscape, organisations face the ever-present threat of cyber breaches and the importance of proactive measures to safeguard sensitive data and assets is obvious. Two essential tools that organisations should consider are an incident response plan and cyber insurance. In this article, based on information from specialist security operations provider Arctic Wolf, we cover how, by implementing a robust incident response plan and obtaining adequate cyber insurance coverage, organisations can not only effectively respond to breaches but also streamline the insurance process, ultimately improving their insurability.
Understanding Cyber Insurance
Cyber insurance serves as a protective policy for organisations in the event of a cyber breach. This insurance coverage helps mitigate liabilities and covers a portion of the costs associated with a breach. However, it is important to note that cyber insurance is a continuously evolving field, with updated application requirements, changing premiums, and varying levels of coverage. Organisations must avoid relying solely on insurance and ensure that other security measures are in place to protect against cyber threats.
Defining Incident Response
Incident response involves a structured approach to identify, contain, and remediate cyber-attacks, with the goal of restoring normal operations. An incident response plan serves as a comprehensive document that outlines the processes and tools to be employed before, during, and after an incident. Organisations may choose to engage third-party providers, utilise specialised solutions, or establish retainers to facilitate their incident response efforts, which can be seamlessly integrated into the incident response plan.
Security Controls and Cyber Insurance
To secure favourable cyber insurance terms, organisations must implement specific security controls. These controls are not merely compliance requirements but play a crucial role in preventing incidents and aiding in breach response. The following security controls are commonly requested to improve cyber insurance terms:
- Vulnerability Scanning: Regular and preferably continuous vulnerability scanning helps identify and mitigate risks associated with system vulnerabilities, reducing the likelihood of successful breaches.
- 24×7 Monitoring: Continuous monitoring enables organisations to promptly detect and respond to threats, particularly during periods of reduced staffing, such as nights and weekends when cyber-attacks are more prevalent.
- Endpoint Detection: Implementing tools that record and alert on endpoint activity can significantly enhance threat detection and response capabilities.
- Employee Security Training: Training employees on security awareness equips them with the knowledge and skills to defend against social engineering tactics, thereby reducing the risk of credential theft and other types of breaches.
- Phishing Simulations: Simulating real-world phishing attacks in a controlled environment allows employees to recognise and respond appropriately to such threats, strengthening their ability to identify phishing attempts.
- Log Retention: Regularly retaining logs is crucial for incident response and investigation purposes. It helps uncover the cause and extent of a breach and enables real-time threat response.
- Email Protections: Strengthening email security is essential in countering the increasing threat of Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks, which can lead to fraud, credential theft, and data breaches.
- Identity and Access Management: Implementing robust identity and access management practices helps prevent unauthorised access, detects unusual login attempts, and mitigates the risk of Multifactor Authentication (MFA) fatigue attacks.
- Asset Inventory: Maintaining an accurate inventory of assets within the security environment is essential for effective monitoring, access control, and incident response. It enables organisations to track threats and respond promptly.
By implementing a robust incident response plan and obtaining adequate cyber insurance coverage, organisations can effectively respond to breaches and streamline the insurance claim process. The plan should integrate security controls such as vulnerability scanning, 24×7 monitoring, endpoint detection, employee training, phishing simulations, log retention, email protections, identity management, and asset inventory. This approach not only enhances security but also reduces the likelihood and impact of cyber incidents, leading to cost savings, faster recovery, and reputation preservation.
In part 2, we will discuss how these factors can help develop your incident response plan whilst providing industry lead evidence on how this improves insurability.