New York, NY (July 21, 2016) – International broker and risk management firm Integro Insurance Brokers today introduced an innovative Cyber Risk practice with a cutting-edge focus: the protection of ‘knowledge assets’, those exposures that go beyond the commonly accepted definition of data.
“Integro understands that the exposure created by the retention and creation of data is far broader than prevailing industry thinking suggests,” said James Sheehan, Cyber Risk practice leader. “Data at an enterprise level also should include these ‘knowledge assets’ or crown jewels — the high-value information that differentiates a firm from its competitors.”
Sheehan identifies knowledge assets as intellectual property, trade secrets, contact information and customer lists, among others.
Integro points out that losses associated with knowledge assets often damage a company's brand or competitive position rather than its customers. Current off-the-shelf cyber coverage does not necessarily contemplate losses resulting from compromised knowledge assets.
Chuck Shay, Integro’s US Management Risk practice leader, added, “We believe risk managers should identify the company's most valuable knowledge assets by evaluating security vulnerabilities and then adopting reasonable and necessary policies, procedures and protocols to secure the ‘crown jewels’ and ultimately shift the risk of catastrophic loss to insurance counterparties.”
A recent Kilpatrick Townsend and Ponemon Institute study, “The Cybersecurity Risk to Knowledge Assets,” underscores the critical importance of protecting knowledge assets. Ponemon, recognized as an industry leader in independent cyber security research, surveyed companies of wide-ranging sizes and industries.
Top-line findings of the Kilpatrick Townsend and Ponemon Institute study show cyber theft to be a widespread and often overlooked threat:
- 74% of respondents say it’s likely their company failed to detect a data breach involving the loss or theft of knowledge assets;
- 72% of respondents do not believe their company has an effective protection system;
- 70% of respondents say their company does not have cyber insurance;
- 67% of respondents believe “Third party access to our company’s knowledge assets poses a serious risk”;
- 60% of respondents say it’s likely elements of their company’s knowledge assets are now in the hands of competitors;
- 33% of respondents say their company carefully vets its cloud providers;
- 31% of respondents say their company has a classification system that segments information assets based on value or priority to the organization;
- 31% of respondents say senior management at their company makes the protection of knowledge assets a priority;
- 28% of respondents rate the ability of their companies to mitigate loss or theft of knowledge assets as effective.
Pertaining most directly to insurance coverage, the maximum loss for a material data breach of knowledge assets is put at more than $100 million by almost 70% of respondents, and at more than $250 million by almost 50% of respondents, and almost 60% of respondents think a material breach of knowledge assets would impact the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.
Integro Chief Actuary Patrick Gallagher noted, “As the distribution of the financial costs of this risk matches those of other highly managed enterprise risks, it makes sense that organizations take a rigorous approach to managing and insuring this risk.”
“We understand cyber expertise is not always a core competency for those charged with managing risk, so Integro is able to step in and help,” Sheehan said. “Our specialized Cyber Risk practice includes transactional knowledge, as well as access to third-party readiness and preventative services.”
The Integro Cyber Risk practice provides holistic solutions, through its CROWN JEWELSSM assessment, for issues created by cyber exposures in business segments across all geographies. Knowledge areas include network security, privacy liability and technology E&O.
Integro is an international insurance brokerage and risk management firm. Clients credit Integro’s superior technical abilities and creative, collaborative work style for securing superior program results and pricing. The firm's acknowledged capabilities in brokerage, risk analytics and claims are rewriting industry standards for service and quality. Launched in 2005, Integro and its family of specialty insurance and reinsurance companies, some having served clients for more than 150 years, operate from offices in the United States, Bermuda, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Its U.S. headquarter office is located at 1 State Street Plaza, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10004. 1-877-688-8701. www.integrogroup.com
Betsy Van Alstyne