49% of U.S. Companies Lack Cyberinsurance

While the majority of global organizations say that it is ‘vital’ their organization is insured against information security breaches, less than half (41 percent) are fully covered for both security breaches and data loss and a third have dedicated cybersecurity insurance.

Of the countries polled, 49 percent of the U.S. companies surveyed currently do not have insurance specifically for cyber security attacks. This is according to the 2016 Risk:Value report looking at attitudes to cybersecurity and risk from NTT Com Security.

Research among 1,000 non-IT business decision makers in organizations in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland reveals that one in 10 (12 percent) have no insurance cover at all for either eventuality. This is despite most business decision makers admitting that there is an increased cybersecurity threat, and that the cost of recovering from such an attack could start from around $1 million (£1.2m in the United Kingdom).

While cyber liability insurance has become increasingly popular and can include cover for data/privacy breaches, extortion liability and network security liability, only 35 percent of businesses currently see the need to take a policy out, although a further 43 percent are getting one or thinking about it. Businesses in the United States are most likely to have this type of insurance—51 percent compared to just 26 percent in the United Kingdom. Notably, wholesale organizations (43 percent) are most likely to take out dedicated cyber insurance, together with business/professional services (43 percent) and utilities companies (39 percent).

Less than half (46 percent) of those respondents whose organization has company insurance that covers data loss or a breach, expect it to cover legal costs. Fewer expect it to cover regulatory fines (43 percent), government fines (41 percent) and remediation (41 percent). Covering loss of business and loss of IP (intellectual property) is even less likely, according to the report, at just 25 percent.

When it comes to the validity of insurance cover, half of respondents cite that lack of compliance with necessary security criteria could invalidate their insurance, while 46 percent feel that not complying with business policies could be a problem, and 43 percent point to the lack of an incident response plan.

“Faced with risks every day, it’s easy for organizations to look for quick-fix solutions rather than focusing on building a solid security and risk management strategy,” said Garry Sidaway, SVP Security Strategy & Alliances, NTT Com Security. “Rather than relying solely on an insurance policy to cover losses, businesses need a different game plan. Buy insurance by all means, but ensure that you can demonstrate that you have put controls in place to reduce your risks, and, what these controls cover—this way you know what is being insured. Being able to demonstrate that these controls are being tested and monitored is essential. Insurers need to know what they are insuring and the controls put in place to protect assets—this is the only way they can agree on cover.”

Cyber insurance is a potentially huge market, and annual gross written premiums are estimated to grow from around $2.5 billion in 2015 to reach $7.5 billion by the end of the decade, according to “Insurance 2020 & Beyond: Reaping the dividends of cyber resilience”, a report by PwC.

The NTT Risk:Value report also reveals that only around half (52 percent) of businesses have a full information security policy, while less than half (49 percent) have a disaster recovery plan in place.

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