Cybersecurity insurance is a wise investment to guard against the impacts of ransomware and other attacks, but it should not be an organization’s primary protection.
Ransomware attacks recently crippled several businesses, including a major oil pipeline, forcing the companies to pay millions of dollars, to reclaim control of their operations.
To prevent a similar fate, many businesses are examining their cybersecurity measures and deciding to add or raise their ransomware insurance coverage to protect themselves from cyber-attacks.
While the rationale for this move is understandable, ransomware insurance alone is not a viable solution to the security issues that practically every industry faces. When businesses give in to threat actors and ransomware plans that pay out rather than investing in improving their environment’s security, attackers gain confidence, and the target on insured businesses grows bigger.
Insurance is merely a Band-Aid solution for minimizing cyber-risk. While insurance is crucial, it does help a company in securing its IT infrastructure in order to prevent attacks from occurring in the first place. According to a 2021 “Combating Ransomware” report from The Institute for Security and Technology in the United States, businesses with cyber-insurance policies experienced a 260 percent rise in ransomware attacks.
Organizations instead require a two-pronged approach – investing in solutions that allow companies to take a proactive approach to infrastructure hardening and insuring the business.
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Infrastructure hardening entails adhering to fundamental endpoint management and cyber hygiene best practises, such as ensuring that all systems are patched and set correctly at all times. Every CIO and IT administrator understands that adhering to these best practises decreases their target surface and the risk of a data breach. Why, then, are breaches continuing to rise?
Unfortunately, not many CIOs know what infrastructure they have out in the wild, let alone if it is secure. Even if they have the visibility, few of them have the manpower to keep it up. As a result, for some, the best alternative is to purchase insurance against the threat.
Failure to maintain
Some carriers have a policy exclusion known as the negligence or “failure to follow” exclusion that prevents coverage for claims originating from the insured’s failure to maintain minimal or appropriate security standards.
Businesses would be considerably better off diversifying their security investments rather than signing up for a lifetime of ever-increasing ransomware insurance premiums and remaining vulnerable to attackers indefinitely.
Identify the flaws before the threat actors do
The most exploited vulnerability in a cyber-attack are generally unpatched or misconfigured operating systems on an endpoint, such as a desktop, server, or laptop computer, mobile device, workstation, and so on. According to a recent WhiteHat Security “AppSec Stats Flash” report, the average time it takes for a business to address major vulnerabilities has climbed from 197 to 205 days. Because the majority of breaches are weaponized within seven days, businesses must begin utilizing this as a benchmark for remediation. It becomes considerably more difficult to attack an organization that can proactively discover and repair these weaknesses. It’s best to use a platform that automates patch management duties and adhere to the 24/72 endpoint hardening threshold.
Invest in tools and platforms that the ITOps team needs
One of the most significant difficulties facing IT today is that they have a large number of tools, not all of which are effective, fast, or able to interact with other tools, including those used by the security team. It becomes much more difficult for threat actors to find their way into the environment if the ITOps and SecOps teams are able to work together.
One of the most important competitive advantages in defending against cyber-attacks is speed. Cloud-native automated solutions are the most effective approach to accomplish this. Bby automating manual operations, IT teams will be able to streamline workflows and reduce risk and exposure by switching from legacy on-premises solutions to cloud-native automated solutions, resulting in improved security outcomes for the company.
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