Broker looks to break cyber cycle for mid-market firms

As business buckles under a tidal wave of cyber-attacks broker Aon has announced the launch of a new system aimed at increasing the resilience of businesses in the UK and EMEA by addressing cyber insurability challenges.

As insurers face mounting losses, largely driven by the proliferation of ransomware, and a rise in frequency of events of nearly 500% since 2018, rates have been increasing and impacted businesses still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those rate increases have led to more challenging insurance placements and renewals in the cyber insurance market. To combat increasing losses, insurers have begun evaluating whether their insured have instituted adequate security controls.

Aon warned an unfavourable evaluation is having an adverse impact on a client’s rate, premium, limit and terms and conditions. While larger organisations may have more sophisticated security controls in place, many mid-market organisations across the UK and EMEA are failing to demonstrate adequate preparedness. This makes them both more vulnerable to cyber threats and can lead to very difficult, if not impossible, cyber insurance placements.

Aon’s new product, Ransomware Defence delivers cyber security expertise and capabilities together into one solution to help mid-market organisations improve and demonstrate their cyber preparedness. The package includes an Attack Surface Assessment, External Threat Scanning, Cyber Attack Simulations and an Incident Response Readiness Assessment.

Richard Hanlon, Chief Commercial Officer, EMEA, for Aon’s Cyber Solutions, said: “Ransomware incidents are becoming more frequent, sophisticated and targeted, while ransom demands themselves are growing. These dynamics are leaving many businesses more exposed to cyber threats and unable to secure the essential insurance coverage they need in response to an event.”

Aon said it had responded to some of the most high-profile incidents in the last decade, managed more than 2,000 cyber claims globally since 2012 and placed over $1.3 billion in cyber premiums in 2020.

Tracie Thompson, Head of Commercial Risk, EMEA, at Aon, added: “We are experiencing a cautionary approach to insuring cyber risks by a majority of insurers; through Ransomware Defence we can help organisations increase their level of security and provide more accurate assessments of their defences, lowering the likelihood of successful attacks and positioning them strongly to access the insurance they need.”

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