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Businesses boost security, leading to drop in cyber insurance rates, report reveals

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  • Cyber insurance premiums are decreasing globally due to improved business cybersecurity measures.
  • Multifactor authentication and increased IT security investments are key factors in reducing insurance claims.
  • Despite rising ransomware attacks, enhanced backup systems are helping mitigate business interruption costs.

In a significant shift for the cyber insurance market, premiums are falling globally as businesses enhance their cybersecurity measures. This trend is highlighted in a recent report by broker Howden, which notes that despite a rise in ransomware attacks, the cost of cyber insurance has been on a downward trajectory over the past year.

Rising Cyber Threats and Falling Premiums

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a surge in cyber incidents, leading to skyrocketing cyber insurance premiums in 2021 and 2022. However, the latest Howden report indicates a reversal of this trend, with double-digit price reductions observed in 2023/24. This decline is attributed to businesses becoming more adept at mitigating losses from cybercrime through improved security practices.

Enhanced Security Measures

One of the key factors contributing to the reduction in cyber insurance premiums is the implementation of multifactor authentication (MFA). Sarah Neild, head of UK cyber retail at Howden, emphasizes its importance: "MFA is the most basic thing you can do; it's like locking the door when you leave the house". This simple yet effective measure has significantly reduced the number of successful cyber attacks, thereby lowering insurance claims.

In addition to MFA, businesses are investing more in IT security, including staff training and advanced security technologies. Neild notes, "Cybersecurity is a many-layered beast," highlighting the multifaceted approach required to protect company data. These investments have made businesses more robust and less susceptible to cyber threats.

Impact of Ransomware Attacks

Despite the overall improvement in cybersecurity, ransomware attacks remain a significant concern. The report reveals an 18% increase in recorded ransomware incidents in the first five months of 2024 compared to the previous year. Ransomware typically involves hackers encrypting data and demanding cryptocurrency payments for decryption keys. The costliest aspect of such attacks is often business interruption, but improved backup systems, such as cloud providers, have helped mitigate these costs.

Global Market Trends

The United States currently dominates the cyber insurance market, but the fastest growth is expected in Europe in the coming years due to lower penetration levels. The global cyber insurance market, valued at $15 billion, is poised for significant expansion as more businesses recognize the importance of cyber risk management.

Smaller firms, however, are less likely to purchase cyber insurance, often due to a lack of awareness about cyber risks. The report underscores the need for increased awareness and preparedness among businesses of all sizes to effectively combat cyber threats and mitigate potential financial losses.

The decline in cyber insurance premiums is a positive development for businesses, reflecting their improved security measures and proactive approach to cyber risk management. By continuing to invest in cybersecurity, businesses can not only protect their data but also benefit from reduced insurance costs.

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