The Government needs to help businesses with cyber insurance

Governments should step in to cover the threats posed by cyber attacks as they present such a danger to global business.

Lloyd’s of London head Stephen Catlin said that cyber security presented the “biggest, most systemic risk” he had come across in his 42-year career in insurance, and argued that managing such liabilities was a job for Governments.

He warned that it is possible to have the same loss happening around the globe, saying that traditional risks, such as natural catastrophes, are more contained, reported the FT.

Darren Anstee, director of solutions architects at Arbor Networks, said: “As the costs around successful cyber attacks, and thus the business risks become more widely appreciated, it is hoped that organisations will invest to raise their security posture.

“However, defending organisations from today’s threats is not all about technology, there needs to be at least as much focus on the people, processes and workflows that are involved. Our incident responders need to be able to identify, prioritise and investigate threats as efficiently as possible, and they need access to threat-intelligence and tools that facilitate this process.”

The announcement came on the same day as US health insurance giant Anthem announced that 80 million customer details could be breached following an attack, as attackers gained unauthorised access to Anthem’s IT system and obtained personal information from current and former customers.

The email sent to customers from partners working closely with Anthem said that once Anthem determined it was the victim of a sophisticated cyber attack, it immediately notified federal law enforcement officials and shared the indicators of compromise with the HITRUST C3 (Cyber Threat Intelligence and Incident Coordination Center).

Anthem immediately began a forensic IT investigation to determine the number of impacted consumers and to identify the type of information accessed. The investigation is still taking place. The company also worked to eliminate any further vulnerability and continues to secure all of its data.

John Gunn, VP of corporate communications at VASCO Data Security International, called the story “a watershed event that marks the beginning of a new wave of attacks targeting insurance and healthcare providers”.

He said: “Healthcare and insurance providers have social security numbers and these are worth 10 to 20 times as much as credit card numbers on the darknet. In economic terms, the Anthem hackers made off with the financial equivalent of about a billion credit cards.

“In response to a massive increase in attacks, banks have been increasing the amount they spend on IT security in a dramatic way and they will continue to do so. Organisations in other industries, like Healthcare, that have large databases of high-value information will be forced to do the same.”

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