Insurance underwriters, as well as banking and financial institutions, extensively use credit ratings to estimate and manage risks. The higher your credit score, the lower your insurance and loan interest rates. With cybersecurity breaches and hacks at an all-time high, it is no surprise that insurance companies are now creating assessments to help them analyze the cyber risks of potential clients.
In simple terms, insurance companies will now assess your cybersecurity posture to determine your insurance rates and policy terms. If the risk is too high, they can increase the rates or end your policy altogether. In this article, we delve into how cybersecurity score works and why it's essential for your Chicagoland organization.
Why Should You Care About Your Organization's Cybersecurity Score?
Nobody enjoys annual or quarterly visits to the doctor for wellness exams, but you make them anyway. It is an essential part of staying healthy. Regular checkups help you identify any early signs of illnesses and mitigate them before they become serious issues. Similarly, you take your car for regular multi-point checks and oil changes to ensure everything is okay to avoid getting stuck late at night in the middle of nowhere.
It's not any different when it comes to your technology environment. Proactive multi-point examination of your IT infrastructure to determine your cybersecurity score helps ensure everything is secure. Every modern-day organization should take cybersecurity scores seriously. Here's why:
- Your cybersecurity score determines your insurance rates: As we said, cybersecurity insurance and other insurance companies are now keen on analyzing the cyber risks of potential customers. Higher credit scores will earn you more favorable policy terms and lower coverage costs. Conversely, lower cybersecurity scores will earn you higher premium costs, and in extreme cases, cancellation of your policy.
- Cybersecurity scores help you identify your cyber threat levels: The assessment process involves interrogating the cybersecurity protocols and systems you have in place. The subsequent score is a direct reflection of their effectiveness and weaknesses. It helps you understand your cybersecurity posture and identify areas that need adjustments.
- Cybersecurity score is essential in selecting your business partners: As you're doing your best to keep your company's systems and data safe, ensure that the organizations you do business with also make similar efforts. Otherwise, bad cyber actors can use them as backdoors to access your databases. And that's where a cybersecurity score comes in—your potential partners' ratings help you determine how well they are prepared to prevent and respond to hacks and breaches.
How Do Assessors Determine Your Cybersecurity Insurance Credit Score?
As is with most credit ratings, there's no standard procedure for determining cybersecurity credit scores. However, the following factors help assessors fully understand your cybersecurity posture, which is essentially the primary determinant of the ratings:
By Assessing Your IT Assets Inventory
You can only safeguard what you know. So, the first thing the cybersecurity credit score assessors will look for is whether you have proper visibility into all your IT infrastructure:
- Can you account for every on-premise, third-party, mobile, or cloud asset that is connected to your systems?
- Are they managed or not?
- Can you actively monitor their geographic locations?
- Are they core assets or internet-facing (perimeter) assets?
- How crucial is each asset to your business?
Through Checking Your Security Controls & Their Effectiveness
Cyberattacks begin as soon as hackers gain access to your systems. So, what protocols and systems do you have to keep them off, and how strong are these measures? Consider asking yourself the following questions:
- Do you have an effective password complexity and expiration protocol?
- Which intrusion detection and prevention systems do you have in place?
- Do you have an IT support team monitoring your network round-the-clock?
- Do you have a fast-response protocol if a breach occurs, and how often do you update it?
By Checking Your IT Support Team’s Qualifications
Whether you're maintaining an in-house team or listing external cybersecurity service providers, how qualified are they? Do they have experience in working with organizations like yours?
The cybersecurity insurance credit score assessment team might also want to know if the IT support company has undergone any breaches before and how they handled it. For the best scores, you might want to work with a service provider with an impeccable reputation.
What's Your Staff's Cybersecurity Awareness Level?
Most data breaches result from employee negligence. Therefore, besides having solid protocols, you should also ensure that your staff is well-trained in detecting and preventing cybercrimes.
Regularly train them on common cyber attack vectors and how to identify them. Cybersecurity awareness also entails your staff's preparedness to handle actual breaches. You might want to simulate attacks occasionally to measure their readiness levels.
LeadingIT offers 24/7, all-inclusive, fast, and friendly technology and cybersecurity support for nonprofits, manufacturers, schools, accounting firms, religious organizations, government, and law offices with 10-200 employees across the Chicagoland area.