Given the rise of ransomware, breaches and cyberattacks — and the accompanying risk of reputational damage, compliance violations, penalties and IP loss — many organizations have begun looking to cyber insurance to protect themselves from the financial damage associated with an attack. Others are struggling with the escalating cost of cyber insurance and the need to demonstrate a strong security posture.

However, the potentially exorbitant cost of such claims and the complexity of safeguarding increasingly complex digital ecosystems means that such coverage can be pricey. Plus, qualifying for a policy isn’t a given. Even with coverage, organizations that suffer an attack can find that an oversight in their security stance leaves them with a rejected claim. Relying solely on cyber insurance to protect an organization’s IP, customer data, and public reputation is a risky bet.

By implementing various cybersecurity strategies, security practitioners can increase their level of compliance with insurer requirements — while decreasing the likelihood that you will need to call on that coverage.

The challenge of meeting cyber insurance requirements

The rapid rise of cyberattacks targeting companies of nearly every size and industry are alarming. A successful breach can lead to a shutdown of company operations, loss of reputation, and significant fines, in addition to financial losses tied directly to the attack. 

Cyber insurance strives to help organizations offset financial loss in the event of a cyberattack or breach. Although not a complete list, these losses typically relate to the following:

  • System damages
  • Business interruption
  • Privacy, penalties and claims
  • Contractual breaches
  • Data recovery 
  • Professional expertise fees

However, to qualify for coverage (or reduce the insurance premium), organizations must meet a growing list of requirements. Rates, retention periods and other control measures depend on the company’s risk profile. Even if an organization qualifies for and purchases a policy, if they fail to maintain strong defenses, their provider might balk at covering a claim if — or when — an incident occurs. 

Common cyber insurance requirements

A single click or minor misconfiguration can lead to a major breach. And if an organization fails to meet the security requirements defined by the insurance provider, their insurance policy could be in jeopardy. 

Aside from a nearly ubiquitous demand for multi-factor authentication (MFA), eligibility for coverage and payment often includes the following requirements:

  1. Backup and disaster recovery. Regularly back up data and verify that it is retrievable in case of an attack.
  2. Endpoint detection and response (EDR). Install antivirus solutions to protect endpoints against malware, viruses and other attacks.
  3. Identity and access management (IAM). Authorize and authenticate users and maintain least privilege policies to make access by attackers more difficult. 
  4. Privileged access management (PAM). Monitor privileged accounts to detect suspicious behavior and quickly identify compromised accounts.
  5. Patch management. Consistently implement patches and updates.
By maintaining strict compliance with an insurance provider’s cybersecurity requirements, organizations can qualify for or reduce the expense of their cyber insurance policy and remain protected in the event of a data breach.