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How procuring cyber insurance boosts resiliency: ICRMC 2018

Just filling out an insurance application can be a “good health check,” says Brian Rosenbaum

Your client knows they need cyber insurance. But could the mere act of filling out an insurance application actually boost their cyber resiliency? Brian Rosenbaum, national cyber and privacy practice leader with Aon Canada, says it could.

Speaking at a panel discussion on cyber resiliency at the International Cyber Risk Management Conference (ICRMC) in Toronto on Thursday, Rosenbaum said the act of filling out a cyber insurance application forces various stakeholders in a business to come together to fully assess their risk.

Related: Cyber criminals becoming more savvy: ICRMC 2018

“We find that going through the procurement process, filling out the application and having underwriting calls gets all the parties to the table,” he said. “Sometimes it amazes me that IT and, let’s say, the privacy officer [of a company] don’t actually know each other.”

“The sheer act of procuring insurance brings together this cross section of individuals,” said Ruby Rai, manager, cyber and professional liability with AIG Canada. “You’re looking through your controls, you’re looking at hypothetical attacks and how your internal controls compare to those attacks.”

Even when a client has assembled all the parties necessary to complete a cyber application, they can still find it to be a challenging process.

“We’ve had many circumstances where filling out the application has been a challenge for our clients,” Rosenbaum said. “It’s very difficult for them to answer the questions, but it’s a wake-up call because they’re now saying, ‘If the underwriter is asking these questions, obviously they’re relevant to our risk. What are we doing about that?’”

In some cases, clients decide they aren’t doing enough, and choose not to go further in the application process until they’ve addressed their vulnerabilities, Rosenbaum said.

“We’ve seen clients stop right in the middle of the application process and say, ‘We’re not ready to buy cyber insurance yet. We’ve got to do a few things to make ourselves a better risk,’” he said. “You can hire firms to assess your risk and do all those wonderful things—and I don’t want to dissuade anyone from doing that—but just filling out a simple application and going through the procurement process to buy insurance is a pretty good health check.”

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