June 7, 2021
New Picture of Total Digital Health
by Brian Longe
With cyber risk increasing with every data breach, phishing scam and identity threat, it’s time digital health is taken as seriously as physical health.
As the CEO of an identity security company, I share a perspective with many cyber insurers: Cybercrime is frequent and widespread and can happen to anyone. With cyber risk increasing with every data breach, phishing scam and identity threat, it’s time that digital health is taken as seriously as physical health.
So, what does it mean to stay digitally healthy today? The world is just too complicated for a silver bullet strategy. Digital health is a set of offensive and defensive actions that, layered together, form a new picture of safety.
Cyber insurance is a critical piece of the puzzle, and one we think is becoming increasingly important for both small businesses and individuals – often underserved markets. Complacency is no longer an option.
A Complex New Landscape
In just a few short years, we went from using our smartphones to primarily stay caught up on email and social media to now managing almost every aspect of our increasingly digital personal and professional lives on our phones. As the technology landscape has evolved, so too has the threat landscape. At the same time, individuals and small business’ ability to manage all the risk hasn’t kept up.
A global pandemic has driven digital transactions even higher, and more organizations than ever are storing personal information and using technology providers to help manage and deliver the digital services people need and expect. Most people nowadays have no idea which, and how many, technology providers have their personal information. Even consumers with excellent digital literacy and hygiene simply don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to how their sensitive personal information is being exposed and potentially misused.
Cyber threats can come from anywhere and are fueled by forces that are difficult to control. Cyber attacks and the resulting data breaches happen with alarming regularity, but remaining vigilant and knowing what to do is an extremely difficult task when there are no universal best practices around data breach notifications.
Most people do not realize how vulnerable they are, and, despite the evidence to the contrary, think a cyber attack won’t happen to them. In today’s complex and rapidly evolving landscape, more insurers will need to act as educators and ensure that the cyber policies they are selling reflect the myriad of modern risks. In the interest of both the client and the insurer, cyber insurance should be combined with other solutions for a comprehensive approach.
See also: Does Cyber Insurance Add to Ransomware?
Personal and Organizational Security Risks Are Linked
The online risk that each person carries follows them through life. It doesn’t just threaten their personal financial accounts – which is bad enough – but the businesses and organizations they work for, too. More sophisticated cyber attacks now target individuals with convincing email and phishing scams that are used to gain access to enterprise systems, or to trick them into becoming unwilling accomplices in fraud. Cyber risks flow in all directions: from organization to individuals, who introduce it back into stakeholder organizations.
So even when a small business has robust cybersecurity defenses in place, each individual introduces their own set of vulnerabilities to the organization. And, for the complicated reasons mentioned above, these risks go largely unaddressed.
It’s time to understand and accept that the problem of online security has grown too complex for most to manage alone. Individual security and organizational security are inextricably linked, so it’s in everyone’s interest to combat the modern challenges with robust protections.
Cyber insurers can help stem the tide of cybercrime – and protect their own interests in the process – by helping more organizations play a role keeping individuals protected. This involves looking at all audiences that could be affected by a cyber attack on the organization, from prospects to customers to employees and vendor partners. If insurers help educate organizational customers on the complex and related cyber risks, they can move the needle of protection forward meaningfully with appropriate cyber coverages
The question of total digital health is constantly evolving, and the solutions must be as dynamic as the problem. Cyber insurance has an important part to play in helping people manage – and master – the risks introduced daily by the technology that plays a starring role in life today.