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Cisco, Apple, Aon, Allianz collaborate on cyber coverage


Cisco Systems Inc., Apple Inc., Aon P.L.C. and Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, part of Allianz Group, have collaborated to offer enhanced cyber coverage in conjunction with secure technology components and a cyber resilience evaluation, the companies said in a joint statement Monday.

Combining a cyber resilience evaluation from London-based Aon with hardware and software from Cupertino, California-based Apple and San Jose, California-based Cisco and coverage from New York-based Allianz, the new solution is aimed at helping protect middle market and other enterprises from the rising threat of malware and explosive growth of ransomeware, the participants told Business Insurance.

Customers who deploy the relevant technologies and hardware after engaging in the evaluation can become eligible for enhanced cyber coverage, including lower deductibles and shorter waiting periods for business interruption protection as well as incident response services where clients will have access to Cisco and Aon’s Incident Response teams in the event of a malware attack.

“One of the most prevalent forms of malicious attack is ransomeware,” said Jason Hogg, chief executive officer of Aon Cyber Solutions in New York, adding “the volume of attacks is growing month-to-month.”

The Aon cyber resilience evaluation helps assess a client’s cyber security posture and can help reduce a client’s “threat landscape,” Mr. Hogg said.

Cisco Ransomware Defense combines email security, endpoint protection and cloud-delivered malicious internet site blocking to help combat some of the most common ways malware and ransomware attack systems, according to David Ulevitch, senior vice president and general manager for Cisco Security.

Cisco and Apple have collaborated extensively in the wireless and security spaces, Mr. Ulevitch said.

Apple hardware also plays a role in allowing clients access to the enhanced coverage. Enterprises that also achieve specific rates of adoption of Apple hardware along with the evaluation and Cisco solution will become eligible for the enhanced coverage.

“Devices are present in enterprises today, and existing customers can benefit from the new program,” said Susan Prescott, vice president, markets, apps & services at Apple.

Apple’s hardware and software security protocols work to help combat attacks and reduce a client’s vulnerabilities.

“A key part of the total solution is the software running on the hardware, which is one of the fastest ways to respond to threats,” Ms. Prescott said. “We have a tremendously high rate of customers who take software update on our devices.”

The program may be especially valuable for middle-market enterprises that may not have the substantial cyber resources of larger companies.

“Middle-market enterprises are sometimes seen as more vulnerable to such attacks because they have less sophisticated defenses in place,” said Jenny Soubra, head of Cyber for Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty, North America.

Some of these companies are more vulnerable because they have not updated hardware or deployed the most recent software patches, “so they are more exposed,” Ms. Soubra said.

“Many companies believe they are not big, rich or important enough to be targeted, especially companies in the middle-market space, which is really where we’re focusing our efforts here,” Ms. Soubra said.

Companies that deploy both the Apple and Cisco solutions in conjunction with the evaluation can then become eligible for the enhanced coverage under the new program, Ms. Soubra said.

A company becomes eligible for the enhanced coverage when in achieves a specific degree of deployment of Apple devices, beginning at 25%, Ms. Soubra said.

“Threats are getting more sophisticated and security is getting harder to manage,” Mr. Hogg said.