On-demand vulnerability scanning: How cyber insurers can refine their risk selection

On-demand vulnerability scanning: How cyber insurers can refine their risk selection

Advancing technology developments mean that cyber (re)insurers have access to more information than they have ever had in the past. While this is beneficial for the industry overall, it can be overwhelming.

One technology that can overwhelm when not used correctly is on-demand scanning. While it can be helpful for insurers, how this data is collected and used is more important than just having access to it. Historically, real-time scan vendors have provided general cybersecurity data and indicators, many of which are not intended for insurance workflows. The result of this unfocused, generalized data yields an unprofitable workflow for insurers. 

This blog will look at how those across the insurance value chain can make the most out of the information they glean from utilizing an on-demand scanning technology.

Why underwriting data can be misused

A general belief in the industry is that for cyber underwriters to have relevant data, it needs to be the most recent snapshot and given with high fidelity. Sometimes this can be useful, but raw data that is too frequently refreshed (for example, a daily or hourly view of a company’s performance in certain contexts) can be too granular, making it noisy and less relevant in insurance underwriting.  

A daily or real-time feed of observations is not always fit for insurance purposes. This could be due to:

- Being overly technical 
- Lacking context for cyber policy and claims considerations
- Not capturing false positives or fleeting observations 
- Not offering recommendations for remediating controls and questions to ask

This can lead to the data unintentionally influencing a difference in underwriting decision making. For example, if the wrong real-time data is accessed, there is a chance of volatility — results may differ from one week to another, meaning the insurer has a less reliable view of the risk. Underwriters need the most complete picture of the cyber risk so they can make the best choices. 

How underwriters can leverage the right data

Instead of shoehorning cybersecurity data into being fit for insurance purposes, the more efficient solution involves a hybrid approach of utilizing monthly aggregated signals and on demand scanning for specific use cases. 

The appropriate real-time data should:

- Be statistically significant
- Cut though the noise
- Have the right context
- Be easily used in insurance 

While different solutions on the market have the ability to offer relevant data, it is crucial that it serves the necessary purposes. These signals should also be actionable, measurable and understood, helping insurers be proactive with how they use the data. 

Read more about what insurers should be looking for in their real-time data in our report — The Cyber Data Conundrum.

Ultimately, a third-party solution should understand the insurance market and be able to provide the data that is fit for purpose. Their approach to this is critical in giving insurers the correct, insurance-relevant information to make, data-driven informed risk decisions that can lead to profitability. 

Fit for purpose data that delivers results

With the amount of data available to (re)insurers, it’s important that whatever live scanning solution being used serves the user’s needs. Your data partner’s approach to on-demand scanning should aim to provide insurers with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions without all of the noise. 

CyberCube’s approach

When creating signals, CyberCube ensures each is customized to the specific signal being looked at, and scoped for what is most relevant for that signal. This is based on the context of the signal, the current market and cybersecurity landscape, making this as beneficial to underwriters as possible. This holistic approach to data and underwriting without extraneous detail that gets in the way of making quick decisions assists underwriters in meeting their goals. 

CyberCube’s Network Snapshot fills a gap in the market, offering insurers a lightweight, live, user-triggered analysis that complements our existing intelligence and solutions. This on-demand security verification tool is vital in allowing insurers to gain the information they need to reach profitability. 

Learn how your underwriters can improve their risk selection decisions by leveraging CyberCube’s insurance-relevant Network Snapshot capability today.

The Cyber Data Conundrum