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PIA’s Harris: Cyber Attacks a ‘Wake-up Call’

Waves of online attacks were a matter of when, not if,” said PIA National Past President Andrew C. Harris.
PIA’s Harris: Cyber Attacks a ‘Wake-up Call’
October 26, 2016

Waves of online attacks on Domain Name Server (DNS) provider Dyn Inc. blocked access to Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, Tumblr, Reddit, The New York Times and various other sites throughout October 21 — an attack that Andrew C. Harris, CEO of brokerage Liberty Insurance Associates in Millstone Township, N.J., calls “overdue.” [Harris pic]

“This is not news to anybody who has been watching this for a while. It was a matter of when, not if,” said Harris, a past president of PIA National, in an interview with PC360. “The bad guys — the foreign states — have been attempting to do what they accomplished for a long time.” Harris has been involved in cybersecurity and cyber liability for years, working with the Department of Homeland Security since it began a public/private partnership around seven years ago.

“As we become more and more independent on the internet, and the more information we put out there, the more vulnerable we are,” he continues. “This is a wake-up call for the insurance industry to recognize that we need to advise our clients that cyber protection and cyber awareness is critical.”

The sooner the insurance industry can issue a standard Cyber Liability form, the better the industry will be able to handle these types of attacks. “The first step is building a standard Cyber policy that is an industry standard, with basic coverages on all types of Cyber policies,” says Harris. “As with most of the things that ISO builds, it will be done in conjunction with agents, companies and reinsurers.” Harris, PIA National’s commercial lines representative to ISO, says ISO is working on this now and speculates that this event could help to expedite the process.