Companies with Apple and Cisco kit eligible for cheaper cyber insurance

Apple and Cisco customers can now get “enhanced cyber insurance” from Allianz with “lower, or even no, deductibles in some cases”.   

Allianz is offering the cyber insurance to organizations that use Apple products, including the iPhone, iPad and Mac, and Cisco’s “Ransomware Defense” — a collection of its security technologies that uses threat intel from Cisco’s Talos labs and its malware protection for email, endpoints, and web attacks.  

Allianz developed the cyber insurance to acknowledge the “superior level of security afforded to businesses by Cisco and Apple technology”, according to a joint press release

Companies that want to take up Allianz’s Apple-Cisco cyber insurance will need to undergo a cyber security evaluation from consultancy firm and insurance broker, Aon.   

Those that do take up Allianz’s cyber insurance will also have access to Cisco’s and Aon’s incident response teams if they suffer a cyber attack. 

The global NotPetya and WannaCry attacks last year provided a stark reminder of the costs to business of fast-spreading file-encrypting ransomware. 

Parcel delivery service FedEx lost $300 million after NotPetya crippled its European TNT Express business. FedEx revealed it had previously considered cyber insurance but avoided it because the market was too immature. Executives said it would would reevaluate cyber insurance following the attack. 

Container shipping giant Maersk last month revealed it was reduced to manual processes immediately after the NotPetya attack and deployed 45,000 PCs, and thousands of servers in 10 days in order to restore operations. The attack also cost it $300 million. 

Apple’s iOS and macOS systems are not immune to ransomware however most ransomware attacks have targeted PCs running Windows 7 and earlier, and to a lesser extent Android mobile devices. 

Meanwhile, Microsoft has doubled down on Windows 10 defenses against ransomware hoping to entice firms to upgrade from Windows 7 sooner. And Google parent Alphabet has launched Chronicle, a mysterious cloud cybersecurity firm that looks set to shake up the threat intelligence market.     

But even in the US, where Allianz's offer to Apple and Cisco customers is aimed, cyber security insurance is still a niche product. Cyber security premiums totaled just $1.35 billion of the $245 billion premiums in the commercial insurance market in 2016, according to figures from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reported by Reuters.  

Apple CEO Tim Cook flagged the cybersecurity and insurance tie-up with Cisco in June. 

“The thinking we share here is that if your enterprise or company is using Cisco and Apple, the combination of these should make that (cyber-security) insurance cost significantly less. This is something we’re going to spend some energy on. You should reap that benefit,” said Cook.  

Read more: Adobe kills a North Korean hacking group’s first zero-day

Cisco and Apple at the time announced partnerships to prioritize traffic for apps on iOS and macOS devices on Cisco networks, as well as better integration between iOS and Safari with Cisco’s WebEx online conferencing platform. 

“iPhone, iPad and Mac are the best tools for work, offering the world’s best user experience and the strongest security,” said Apple chief, Tim Cook, in today's press release. 

“We’re thrilled that insurance industry leaders recognize that Apple products provide superior cyber protection, and that we have the opportunity to help make enhanced cyber insurance more accessible to our customers.”

Cisco called the insurance collaboration with Apple, Allianz and Aon a "holistic risk management solution".    

“Cisco Security technology is central to the new holistic risk management solution and we are excited to bring another important benefit to our customers with greater options for cyber insurance,” said Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO of Cisco.

Tags MicrosoftGoogleAppleciscoiPhoneWindows

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