Security expert warns insurers on the realities of cyber risk

By Erin Ayers on May 18, 2017

CHICAGO – Insurers need to understand the realities of cyber risk, why the risk has expanded so dramatically in recent years, and why no organization can ever be fully protected, according to Adam Tyler, chief innovation officer with CSID, now a part of Experian Partner Solutions, speaking during the keynote speech at Advisen’s Cyber Risk Insights Conference.

The insurance industry needs to know the “reality of the situation you’re facing,” Tyler told the audience here in Chicago. “You need to know the reality of the premiums and policies you’re writing.”

The Dark Web isn’t well understood, he explained, and news reports usually feature cyberattacks as stunningly complex.

“The media are the worst thing that’s ever happened to cybersecurity,” said Tyler. “They present it as this amazing insight, 15-year-olds taking down billion-pound companies. And they’re always presented as geniuses. It puts the risk, the true issue, as something we don’t need to worry about, that only a subset of the world can do this.”

In reality, a connected world means that anyone can extract value from organizations and individuals with remarkably little effort or consequence, Tyler explained, and the insurance industry needs to understand the degree to which access to hacking tools has expanded.

Tyler compared the internet to an iceberg, with much of the content hidden from surface views for decades. Not so anymore, he explained. Leaps in technology have ensured that anyone can access Dark Web tools for committing dark deeds, Tyler said.

“Global warming in the cyber world exists. Global warming has effectively occurred,” he said. In other words, the iceberg has melted.

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eayers@advisen.com'

Erin is an editor at Advisen. She has 15 years of journalism experience. Prior to Advisen, Erin covered property-casualty insurance for 13 years as editor-in-chief of The Standard, New England’s Insurance Weekly. Erin is based in Boston, Mass. Contact Erin at eayers@advisen.com.