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Cyber insurance audit: Painful necessity, or a valuable opportunity? on July 28, 2023 at 12:00 pm

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Not that long ago, few companies even considered purchasing insurance to mitigate their financial exposure from a cyber incident, and for those that did, obtaining a policy was as easy as filling out an application and writing a check. Those days are now squarely in the rearview mirror. Today, companies everywhere are rushing to get cyber insurance — the value of the global cyber insurance market reached $13.33 billion in 2022 and is projected to soar to $84.62 billion by 2030.

However, the increased number of policies combined with the sharp uptick in costly attacks led to higher costs for cybersecurity insurance providers. To stem their losses, insurance companies now often require proof that an organization has implemented a variety of security measures in order to be eligible to purchase a policy.

Rather than resisting or resenting risk assessments from potential cyber insurance vendors, IT leaders should regard them as an opportunity to strengthen their organization’s security posture.

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Cyber insurance involves risk assessment

Across the insurance industry, policy requirements and premiums vary according to risk assessment. For instance, installing an anti-theft system might reduce the cost of insuring an expensive sports car. A person living in a flood plain can expect to pay more for a homeowner’s policy than someone with a similar house on higher ground — or they might not be able to purchase a policy at all, as homeowners in states like Florida are discovering.

It is the same for cyber insurance. An insurance provider may impose more security demands on a company that hosts large volumes of personally identifiable information (PII) than it does for a company of similar size with far less PII. And organizations that lack sufficient security controls to bring risk down to a level acceptable to an insurance provider might not be eligible for any policy at any price.

What cyber insurance actually covers

The main focus of cyber insurance is obviously on covering the financial risks of an incident. Typically, you can expect the insurance to cover the firsthand costs to the business that are the direct result of the cyber event, such as:

Forensic analysis and incident response. Some insurers require that you engage specific managed incident response services.
Recovery of data and systems caused by actual loss and destruction.
Cost of the downtime due to the cyber event.
Costs incurred from sensitive data breaches, such as handling PR activities, notifying impacted clients, or even providing credit monitoring services to customers.
Legal services and certain types of liability for regulated data, including covering the costs of the civil lawsuits.

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It is important to note that insurance rarely or never covers some of the longer-lasting impacts of the event, such as any future profit loss due to theft of intellectual property or the need to invest in cybersecurity program improvements after the event.

There is no consensus on reimbursement for paying a ransom. Not all insurers cover this type of expense. Some experts argue that it can encourage further attacks and fund criminal activities. In some jurisdictions, the discussion is going back and forth on whether paying ransom should be banned altogether.

As with any insurance policy, you can expect extra clauses. These may include the top amount they cover, the requirement to go through a due process with the law enforcement agencies, or involvement in professional ransom-negotiation services.

The must-have security measures for cyber insurance

A recent Netwrix study reveals useful details about the process of qualifying for cyber insurance today. It found that 50% of organizations with cyber insurance implemented additional security measures either to meet the requirements of the policy they selected or to simply be eligible for a policy at all. The figure below shows the specific requirements they reported having to meet:

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Image Credits: Netwrix/Netwrix Hybrid Trends Security Report 2023

Don’t take this list as comprehensive or authoritative. For instance, implementing MFA does not necessarily mean requiring MFA for all users; an insurer might require additional authentication only for users with privileged access to sensitive data and systems. In addition, remember that these controls are interrelated. For example, in order to require MFA for access to particular types of data, you need to know where sensitive and regulated data resides and have control over user and administrative privileges.

​ The value of the global cyber insurance market reached $13.33 billion in 2022 and is projected to soar to $84.62 billion by 2030. 

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X Opens the Door to Adult Content With New Policy

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X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, has made a significant policy shift by officially permitting adult content on its platform with some restrictions and guidelines.

In an update to its rules, X stated that users can now share “consensually produced and distributed adult nudity or sexual behavior” as long as it is properly labeled and not prominently displayed in areas like profile pictures or header images.

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“We recognize that many of our users are adults who want to freely express themselves by sharing legal adult content,” said an X spokesperson. “At the same time, we have a responsibility to protect minors and prevent exposure to explicit material without proper labeling.”

Under the new guidelines, users who “regularly post” adult content must adjust their settings to automatically mark images and videos as sensitive content, which blurs or hides the media by default. By default, users under 18 or who haven’t entered their birth date cannot view this sensitive adult content.

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The policy prohibits content “promoting exploitation, nonconsent, objectification, sexualization or harm to minors, and obscene behaviors.” It applies to all adult content, whether photographic, animated, or AI-generated.

X has stated that it will monitor user-generated content and adjust account settings for those who fail to properly mark pornographic posts. Similar rules and enforcement will apply to violent content as well.

The move aligns X with Apple’s app store guidelines, which allow apps with adult content as long as it is hidden by default and behind proper age gates and content warnings.

While adult content was already present on X, this policy update officially permits and regulates it, aiming to balance freedom of expression for consenting adults with protecting minors from exposure to explicit material.

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However, enforcing these rules consistently may prove challenging for X’s reduced content moderation teams following recent layoffs and cost-cutting measures.

The policy shift has drawn mixed reactions, with some praising X for embracing adult expression while others raise concerns about the potential for the platform to become inundated with pornographic content despite the restrictions.

As X navigates this new territory, the effectiveness of its labeling requirements, age verification measures, and content moderation efforts will be closely watched by users, regulators, and advocacy groups alike.

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Trump’s Conviction Raises Stakes for 2024 Election

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In a stunning fall from grace, Donald Trump has been convicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment made to conceal an alleged affair during the 2016 campaign. While Trump has vowed to appeal, the guilty verdict represents an unprecedented legal rebuke of the former president and frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination.

The question now is whether this first-ever criminal conviction of a former U.S. president will derail Trump’s increasingly plausible path back to the White House. The answer likely hinges on a narrow but potentially decisive sliver of persuadable voters in battleground states.

For Trump’s ardent base of supporters, the conviction seems to matter little. They have remained stubbornly loyal through past scandals, impeachments, and investigations. Many have already shrugged off the guilty verdict as an expected outcome from a “witch hunt” prosecution. In their eyes, Trump is the victim of a politicized injustice system rigged against him.

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But for the moderate Republicans, independents, and suburban swing voters who abandoned Trump in 2020, this criminal conviction could prove a bridge too far. The idea of reinstalling a convicted felon in the Oval Office may be unpalatable, even for those underwhelmed by President Biden’s leadership.

Trump’s ability to win back these key voting blocs in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin will likely decide if the conviction is a fatal blow or a mere speed bump on his return to power. A small but decisive number of alienated moderates could make the difference in another nail-bitingly close Electoral College finish.

Of course, Trump has repeatedly defied conventional wisdom and political norms throughout his improbable rise. His supporters point to examples like Eugene Debs garnering over 900,000 votes while campaigning from prison in 1920 as proof a conviction does not disqualify a candidate.

And Trump will surely leverage the conviction to his advantage, stoking grievances and portraying himself as a martyr persecuted by the “deep state.” His rallying cry will be that the American people, not corrupt prosecutors, should decide his political fate.

Ultimately, the impact of Trump’s conviction may come down to the sentencing and outcome of appeals. A lengthy prison term would be a near-impossible hurdle. But if he avoids incarceration, the stain of being a convicted felon on the campaign trail is a heavy burden.

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In a nation deeply divided over Trump’s legacy, voters in 2024 will judge whether his norm-shattering presidency warrants a norm-shattering return to power as a convicted criminal defendant. The stakes for American democracy have never been higher.

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Trump is Found Guilty by Jury

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The jury in Donald Trump’s hush money trial has reached a verdict after deliberating for less than two days. The 12 jurors will return to the courtroom shortly to announce their decision on the 34 counts of falsifying business records that Trump faced related to the $130,000 payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

Trump has been present in the courtroom awaiting the verdict.  The jury had requested to rehear portions of testimony from key witnesses David Pecker and Michael Cohen during their deliberations, suggesting they closely scrutinized the evidence around the alleged hush money scheme.

A guilty verdict would represent a significant legal setback for Trump as he campaigns for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. An acquittal would be a boost for his campaign efforts. The high-profile trial has garnered immense attention, with the testimony providing insight into the alleged cover-up of the payment to Daniels.

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