Multifactor Authentication (MFA) Is A Common Requirement To Qualify For Cyber Risk Insurance

Understanding the Pervasive Threat of Cyberattacks

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, the potential for cyber threats is an inevitable reality. As per the “2022 US Cybersecurity Census Report” published by Keeper, an average American business is at the receiving end of 42 cyberattacks each year. This statistic underscores that the question is not about whether a cyberattack will take place, but rather when it will strike.

Identifying Small Businesses as Preferred Cybercrime Targets

Small businesses often manage vast and valuable customer databases, which inadvertently mark them as high-profile targets for cybercriminals. The criminals seek to illegally access and steal personal data, deploying tools and tactics like phishing, malware, and ransomware. Such stolen information is prone to being traded illicitly on the dark web, resulting in serious repercussions for both the individuals concerned and the companies involved.

The stark reality of this scenario is highlighted by numerous real-world incidents. Prominent insurance companies like CNA, Chubb, Aon, Aflac, and Zurich have fallen prey to significant data breaches, indicating that even large and seemingly secure entities aren’t impervious to these threats.

Rising Demand for Robust Data Security Measures

Given the current scenario, regulators and other supervisory authorities are ramping up their demands for comprehensive data security protocols within insurance agencies. It’s increasingly understood that these agencies must adopt and implement reliable, effective measures for data security to safeguard the sensitive information they handle.

Furthermore, the landscape of the cyber insurance market is evolving in response to the escalating frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks. For players in this market, the onus is now on modernizing and reinforcing their security frameworks to maintain and obtain comprehensive coverage.

The Emergence and Importance of Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

In recent times, Multifactor Authentication (MFA) has surfaced as a critical element in the realm of cyber liability policies. This mechanism enhances system security by presenting an additional barrier against cybercriminals, whose common modus operandi involves illicitly gaining access to systems by capturing login credentials.

In an MFA setup, besides the standard login information, users must provide additional authentication evidence. This could take the form of a Personal Identification Number (PIN), a one-time password, or a biometric marker, which makes unauthorized access significantly more challenging for potential intruders.

Building a Culture of Strong Cybersecurity with MFA

Embedding MFA within a company’s security infrastructure is a pivotal step in fostering a culture of robust cybersecurity. It’s worth noting that the success of cyberattacks largely hinges on the human factor. Employees might overlook phishing emails or neglect to maintain secure password practices, both of which can leave the door open for attackers.

Another common pitfall includes failure to regularly update software applications or the improper use of public WiFi networks, both of which can compromise security. By introducing MFA, these human-related risks can be mitigated, adding another layer of protection to the company’s digital assets.

The Role of MFA in Securing Insurance Coverage

The stance taken by cyber insurance providers is becoming increasingly rigid: no MFA, no coverage. This policy is a powerful motivator for businesses to secure their cyber-defenses swiftly and thoroughly. Companies that have yet to integrate MFA into their security infrastructure find themselves at a stark disadvantage, often deemed ineligible for cyber coverage.

Understanding the Benefits and Implementation of MFA

MFA, when implemented alongside robust password protocols, can serve as a simple, yet powerful, measure that any business can adopt. Not only is it straightforward to incorporate, but it also offers substantial benefits by dramatically enhancing security.

As per the 2022 Travelers Risk Index, while a whopping 90% of American businesses reported familiarity with MFA, only about 52% had actually incorporated it into their remote access procedures. This data reveals a glaring gap in the adoption of this crucial security measure.

Similarly, an analysis by Arctic Wolf Labs uncovered that Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks were responsible for 29% of all incident responses in 2022. More alarmingly, nearly 58% of these victim organizations had not enabled MFA, potentially exacerbating their vulnerability.

The Simplicity of MFA Deployment

Activating MFA within a company’s systems can often be as straightforward as flipping a switch. While it’s true that MFA introduces an additional step in the login process, there are numerous tools available that can streamline this process, consolidating multiple logins into a single step.

Get Cyber Risk Quote

Cyber Risk insurance can be purchased as either an endorsement to a General Liability or Directors & Officers Liability policy or on a stand alone basis. Stand alone policies always have broader coverage terms and offer more protection.  If you are interested in a quote, please complete our Quote Request Form.

 

Source: Modern Day Security, iamagazine.com, July 2023.

Posted By: