The Duality of Cyber Protection: Cybersecurity and (or) Cyber Insurance?

        ​   By Pankit Desai Co-founder & CEO Sequretek

As technology advances, the need for protection against cyber threats is more critical than ever. Cybersecurity and cyber insurance are two approaches organizations can take to protect themselves against cyberattacks. While both aim to mitigate risks associated with cyber incidents, they differ in their focus and the nature of the protection they offer. In this blog post, we will explore the relationship between these two concepts and how they can help protect individuals and organizations from the financial and reputational damage caused by cybersecurity breaches.

Cybersecurity and Cyber insurance creating a comprehensive security umbrella

Cybersecurity refers to the practice of protecting computer systems, networks, and electronic devices from unauthorized access, theft, damage, and other cyber threats. This can involve a variety of measures, including firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection systems, and encryption. Cybersecurity aims to prevent or minimize the impact of cyber incidents by reducing the risk of a successful attack.

On the other hand, cyber insurance provides financial​ protection against losses arising from cyber incidents.​ Cyber insurance policies can cover various costs​ associated with data breaches, network damage, and​ business interruption. Cyber insurance is designed to​ help organizations recover from a cyber incident​ by providing financial resources to cover recovery​ costs and help minimize the impact on the business.​ While cybersecurity and cyber insurance may seem​ like two very different approaches to protecting​ against cyber threats, the two have some similarities.

Both cybersecurity and cyber insurance focus on reducing​ the risk of a cyber incident and minimizing the impact​ if one occurs. They also require a comprehensive understanding​ of an organization’s systems and potential vulnerabilities.​ Cyber insurance can also incentivize better cybersecurity practices. Insurance companies require policyholders to take specific cybersecurity measures, such as regular security audits or employee training programs, before providing coverage. This can help improve an organization’s overall security posture and reduce the likelihood of a successful cyber-attack.

On the other hand, a lack of proper cybersecurity systems and processes can also impact the availability and affordability of cyber insurance policies. Insurance companies may hesitate to provide coverage to organizations with weak cybersecurity practices or a history of frequent data breaches. This can make it difficult for some organizations to obtain cyber insurance coverage or result in higher premiums for those that do.

​​But there is a divergence​ 

However, there are also significant differences between the two approaches. One key difference is their focus. Cybersecurity is primarily concerned with preventing cyber incidents from occurring in the first place. Cyber insurance, on the other hand, is focused on providing financial protection after a cyber incident has occurred. Another difference is the nature of the protection they offer. Cybersecurity protects against cyber incidents by implementing preventative measures.

On the other hand, cyber insurance provides financial protection in the event of a cyber incident and ensures that an organization can recover as quickly as possible. These costs include notifying affected individuals, credit monitoring services, hiring a forensic investigator, legal fees, and extortion payments to ransomware attackers. Payments for ransomware attacks are a tricky area as they have the potential to fund terrorist activities or support hostile nations. Gartner expects that by 2025, 30% of the countries will have some norm restricting ransom payments, and having a cyber insurance company as a go-between aids in ensuring that any such payments will not run afoul of the regulations.

​​And while we are at it, some challenges too

One potential issue with cyber insurance is that it can create a false sense of security. Organizations may believe they are fully protected against cyber incidents because they have cyber insurance. However, cyber insurance is not a substitute for robust cybersecurity measures. Organizations should still prioritize cybersecurity and implement preventative measures to reduce the risk of a cyber incident.​ Another potential issue with cyber insurance is that policies can vary widely in their coverage and limitations. Some policies may not cover certain types of cyber incidents or may have limits on the amount of coverage provided. Organizations should carefully review their cyber insurance policy to understand what is covered and what is not and ensure adequate coverage to meet their needs.

​​The takeaway

In conclusion, while cybersecurity and cyber insurance have similarities in their focus on reducing the risk of cyber incidents and their need for a comprehensive understanding of an organization’s systems and vulnerabilities, they differ in their approach and the nature of the protection they offer. Cybersecurity is focused on preventing cyber incidents from occurring in the first place, while cyber insurance provides financial protection in the event of a cyber incident. While both are important for protecting against cyber threats, organizations should prioritize cybersecurity and implement robust preventative measures to reduce cyber incident risk. Cyber insurance can provide additional financial protection, but policies vary widely in coverage and limitations. Organizations should carefully review their approach to ensure adequate coverage to meet their needs.

Pankit Desai Co-founder & CEO Sequretek
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