Apple, Cisco Move Into Cyber-Insurance Market

The tech giants are offering protection against cyber attacks to businesses that primarily use their equipment.
Matthew HellerFebruary 5, 2018

Call it iCoverage. Apple announced Monday it is teaming up with Cisco Systems to help businesses that primarily use equipment from the technology companies to insure themselves against the risk of cyber-attacks.

The joint venture, which also includes insurer Allianz SE and insurance broker Aon PLC, will allow companies to receive better terms on their cyber insurance coverage, including lower deductibles – or even no deductibles, in some cases.

“Ransomware is an evolving risk that impacts every level of an enterprise. Organizations urgently need to be managing these risks from both the technical and the financial perspective,” Jason Hogg, CEO of AON Cyber Solutions, said in a news release. “This holistic solution provides our clients with an integrated approach to addressing ransomware risk.”

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As Reuters reports, “Cyber coverage is a mounting concern for companies worldwide as hackers increasingly take aim at their technology systems. Cyber crime insurance, once a little-known product, has gained traction as hacks involving large companies such as Equifax Inc and Target Corp have become more costly and commonplace.”

U.S. cyber security premiums totaled $1.35 billion in 2016, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners — a fraction of the $244.9 billion in total premiums for U.S. commercial line insurers, but a growing market in which insurers are trying to distinguish themselves.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in June that his company and Cisco were collaborating to get cyber insurance discounts for businesses using their products.

“For Apple and Cisco, the new deal could help them attract more enterprise customers to their products, potentially helping them to beat competitors to scoring these larger clients,” TechCrunch said.

The companies’ new offering includes a cyber security evaluation by Aon. Businesses using Cisco Ransomware Defense malware-blocking software and certain Apple devices can then apply for special cyber insurance through the specialty lines unit of Allianz SE.

“The key here is a holistic approach to cyber,” Hogg told Reuters, noting that businesses often address cyber security in a “siloed manner,” with everyone from technology staff to legal departments playing separate roles.