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INVESTING/PORTFOLIO STRATEGIES

Cyberinsurance purchases on the rise — PSCA panel discussion

There’s been a sharp increase among most U.S. industries in the purchase of cyberinsurance, according to client data compiled by Marsh & McLennan Cos.

“More and more companies are starting to realize they have an increased risk” of cyberattacks, said Matthew McCabe, a senior vice president specializing in network security and data privacy, during a cybersecurity panel discussion at the annual national conference of the Plan Sponsor Council of America in Chicago on Tuesday.

Among all industries covered by the company, cyberinsurance purchases grew by 25% in 2016.

The biggest increase in 2016 was 42% for the hospitality/gambling industry, followed by wholesale/retail businesses with a 37% growth rate and services with a 29% growth rate

Among the company’s clients, the industries with the biggest take-up rates for buying cyberinsurance were health care (57% of clients in 2016), media/communications/technology (50%) and education (47%).

“Hacking has become more creative,” said Brian Finch, a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, another panel participant.

“The bottom line: If a system can be hacked to make money, it will happen,” he warned. “It’s not if, it’s not when, but how often and how long.”