As more and more information gets stored and passed around electronically, so do opportunities for hackers to steal it or hold it for ransom. Accordingly, companies are increasingly looking to insurance companies to seek protection from cybercrime.
Three of Denmark's top insurance companies – Topdanmark, Codan and Tryg – have seen a growing demand for hacker insurance. In fact, Topdanmark has nearly 20,000 businesses that currently have this type of protection, of which two-thirds have started policies in the last 12 months.
”Our consultants and customer centre receive daily questions from customers about how they are covered in relation to anything related to cyberspace,” Lars Simonsen, the commercial director for Topdanmark, told DR.
Tip of the iceberg
The international insurance agency AIG has also seen an increase in cyber insurance.
”If we go back and look at when we started three years ago, it is not unrealistic to say we have seen an increase of 1,000 percent,” Chris La Cour Valentin, AIG's Nordic cyber insurance, told DR. ”We have a very clear expectation that the increase we've seen is going to continue.”
Simonsen also noted that at Topdanmark it is mostly smaller business that insure themselves against hacking – especially those that do not have their own IT departments.
Increasingly, the type of hacking that businesses are seeing are attacks that shut computers down and hold the data for ransom, keeping the information under lockdown until businesses cough up the money.
Peter Kruse, an IT security expert with CSIS Security, says such attacks can be fatal to a business's livelihood and such attacks are not simply restricted to the infected machine.
”Kidnapping software goes right down to the server and steals the company's most critical data,” he told DR. ”Once they are lost, it can cost the company's life.”