Liability comes in a variety of forms — personal, physical, property, medical, commercial, general and auto just to name a few. New risks are developing every day, many of which are associated with the global
economy and technology.
Your insureds depend on you to help them manage and mitigate the many
liabilities they face. Several weeks ago, a series of online attacks on Domain
Name Server (DNS) Dyn Inc., blocked access to multiple sites on the East
Coast including Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, Tumblr, Reddit and The New
York Times. The effort came in three waves and spread to sites on both coasts
later in the day. The attacks used millions of malware infected devices, which
some sources have identified to be primarily webcams, to create a high volume
of deceptive traffic, preventing access from legitimate users to the sites. The
unprotected internet-connected devices allowed an Internet of Things (Io T)
botnet to hijack the devices.
It is believed that the attacks were propagated by a state sponsored entity,
which the FBI and Department of Homeland Security were still investigating at
The explosion of Io T devices complicates the ability of service providers to
protect the vast array of networks. Unsecured devices make it easy for hackers
to commandeer them for attacks that disrupt service for millions.
The severity of the attack could lead to business interruption claims from
Amazon, Netflix, PayPal and other e-commerce sites that were impacted.
Once liability has been determined, it is also possible that some claims could
Hopefully one result of this attack will be to educate internet users on
the importance of device and network security including the use of strong
passwords, being more cautious when it comes to opening emails and clicking
on links within them, and being aware of the risks inherent in Io T devices.
For insurers, high-profile cyber events provide the opportunity to emphasize
the role of risk management strategies such as employee training, creating
a cyber response team, purchasing cyber insurance policies, and evaluating
vulnerabilities before an attack occurs.
Claims and PropertyCasualty360.com will continue to watch how technology
and the Io T impact the insurance industry. We are thankful for the trust our
readers place in us, and wish you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving
and holiday season.
Patricia L. Harman, Editor-in-Chief