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PAM at the service of cyber insurance

Just as you wouldn’t drive a car without insurance, you wouldn’t want to take the risk of running your organization without cyber insurance.

Cyber insurance has emerged as crucial for financial protection and risk mitigation in the event of a breach. To qualify for many cyber insurance policies, Privileged Access Management (PAM) plays a vital role. In this article, we’re going to discuss how PAM can help you satisfy cyber insurance requirements and what security benefits it can bring to your organization.

Why do we need cyber insurance?

Cyber insurance was first introduced in 1997 and started to be adopted in the 2000s. Now cyber insurance has become a must for any organization.

A data breach can have important impacts on organizations. Going from financial fine to operational interruption. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach is $4.35 million. I invite you to read our article “Can Data Breaches Be Avoided?” for more insights on how to prevent a data breach.

Therefore, cyber insurance comes with a great value to limit the financial impact of a security incident. With the rise of data breaches, having cyber insurance is now primordial.

What to look for in a cyber insurance policy?

Each policy covers a certain number of areas that could be affected by a breach, we recommend looking for the following points and make sure they are included in your organization policy:

> Recovery and Restoration:

Cyber insurance will cover the necessary actions for data recovery and recovery. Make sure that services, software, and hardware needed are all included. 

> Notification

In the case of a security incident, you are required by law to notify your organization stakeholders, customers and any impacted third party, as well as the official CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team). In this section, you need to ensure that the policy covers all the costs needed to notify the parties listed previously.

> Legal Fines:

It is evident that a cyber insurance policy must cover the legal fines and penalties. It is also important to include any compliance fees needed depending on your sector of activity.

> Operational interruption:

Many cyberattacks have resulted in business interruption and loss of revenue. This policy section is a key to minimize your organization’s loss in case of a lost.

How to Apply for a cyber insurance?

As we have seen the benefit of having your organization insured against cyberthreats, and given the increasing number of attacks, cyber-insurance companies are becoming increasingly demanding. Especially in a set of pre-requisites, which can regard what you have done to enable your personnel (have you put in place the right cyber hygiene, the best cybersecurity practices, such as the enablement of the personnel to increase employee awareness on the cyber-risk) or to equip yourself with cybersecurity tools. Requirements vary according to the insurance provider. However, regarding the minimal technologies required in most cyber-insurance policies, you find:

  • Cyber-Risk management tools
  • Endpoint protection (EDR)
  • AD protection
  • Secure Back-up & restore
  • Email Security
  • Credential management
  • Vulnerability Assessments
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
  • Web application firewall (WAF)
  • Privileged Access Management (PAM)

All the areas listed above are important to demonstrate the solidity of your organization’s cybersecurity to the insurance company. In this article we are going to deep dive on the last point which is Privileged Access Management.

Why do you need Privileged Access Management?

What is PAM?

PAM is a cybersecurity solution used to secure the access to your most critical assets by your most privileged users. These users, given the nature of their jobs, have access to sensitive data and are required to handle systems with powerful impact. A privileged access management solution guarantees complete visibility and control over these users’ access.

How can you meet policy requirements with PAM?

> Authentication:

Insurers require the use of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) solutions which function is to verify user’s identity and that you have the right person behind the screen. Many PAM solutions provide built-in MFA as a feature to secure any remote access for both internal admins and third parties.

> Access Control:

A privileged access management solution should be aligned with the Principle of Least Privileged (PoLP) which is based on the assumption that no user can be trusted. Using a PAM solution with a Zero Trust architecture ensures the “by design” application of the PoLP (I invite you to check our page Zero Trust PAM page).

> Accounts management

Once the basis is established with a Zero Trust architecture coupled with MFA, it is important to look security features that help you manage privileged session and accounts. Using these features prove to the insurance company that you have robust security strategy to protect your organization. PAM solutions allow you to manage all the sessions. For instance, they allow you to pre-configure your security alert level to detect any suspicious activity and automatically block the admin’s session. Furthermore, you can configure an access to a specific resource only with the approval of a supervisor and/or within a certain period of time (just-in-time access feature).

> Audit and compliance

For compliance and regulatory purposes, session auditing is a key insurance requirement. With PAM, it is crucial to have the recording feature where sessions are saved in a video format allowing you to comply and checking the source of any cyber incident and easing the forensic analysis of an incident. Events and access logs features will help you build full reports and therefore have complete audit over your organization’s systems.

> Credential management

The theft of privileged users’ credentials has been a main entry point for hackers. It is not surprising that insurance ask organizations to have a solid password vault. PAM provides interesting security features such as password rotation and automatic injection. Consequently, your organization’s credentials will not have to be disclosed with external parties nor with any internal admin who can leave the organization at any moment.

Beyond meeting insurance security, PAM allows to easily manage your privileged users and to have a full view over your organization’s systems.

PAM added value to your organization

On one hand, insurance companies are restraining from providing full refunds in the case of an incident.

On the other hand, a data breach can have a significant impact on your organization’s reputation and many other non-financial consequences.

For these reasons, compliance and meeting insurance requirements can be a serious opportunity to strengthen your organization’s security and to “do things right”. And ultimately boost your business performance.

To learn more about privileged access management, I invite you to read our article “How to Choose Your Privileged Access Management Solution

PAM as a Service (PAMaaS): Revolutionizing Your Privileged Accounts Security

As conventional PAM solutions are expensive and hard to deploy, PAMaaS emerges as the next-gen PAM. Giving organizations the opportunity to secure their privileged accounts with a highly practical SaaS solution. Worry no more about finding the needed human resources to deploy privileged access management solutions with cyberelements. Enable your platform in 3 mins and only pay for the simultaneously connected users.

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