A rash of hacking attacks on U.S. companies has insurers raising premiums, and putting new pressure on firms perceived to be vulnerable. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Getting hacked is not only becoming more common. It is getting more expensive to insure against. A wave of breaches against U.S. companies over the last couple of years has not only increased the premiums, but also the deductibles. Insurer Marsh & McLennan says average insurance rates, for example for retailers, have surged 32 percent after staying flat in 2014. Health insurers are also facing some of the most extreme increases, with premiums tripling when it is time to renew, that according to insurance company Beazley. Mark McLaughlin heads cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks. (SOUNDBITE) MARK MCLAUGHLIN, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, PALO ALTO NETWORKS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The reason for that is that insurance companies are in the business of quantifying risk. The risk here is very unquantifiable today so there are no actuarial tables for this and that is why the cost for insurance is going up. Exemptions are large. The deductions are large. That's not going to change until we get a better risk pattern here." Many insurance companies also now limit how much policies will cover. The biggest insurers cap policies at $100 million for risky customers. To put that in perspective, Target's 2013 data breach cost $264 million. All this means more business for cyber insurance companies. According to a recent study by consulting firm PwC, the cyber insurance market is set to triple to about $7.5 billion over the next five years.