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Supply Chain Brain: Conan Ward on Cyber Insurance for Manufacturers

Should manufacturers be insured against cyber attacks? QOMPLX's Conan Ward took on that weighty topic in a recent episode of Supply Chain Brain with Bob Bowman.

Speaking with Bowman, Ward, the President & General Manager of RubiQon Risk and Insurance Services (RubiQon Re), said that the evolution of malware and the growth of the so-called "Internet of Things" is pushing the limits of traditional business insurance as well as newer cyber security coverage.

"With respect to manufacturers, the advent of Internet facing factory floor items and IoT issues, we're seeing more and more threats from sophisticated malware that can affect that kind of machinery," Ward told Bowman.  

Incidents like the 2017 NotPetya malware outbreak was a case in point of how a malware outbreak could disrupt operations for even sophisticated, multi-national firms. Organizations ranging from FedEx to Merck Pharmaceuticals to the shipping giant Maersk found themselves temporarily hobbled by NotPetya.

For these firms, traditional cyber coverage may not suffice, Ward said. "Most of the policies that are dedicated cyber policies will pick up most of the different attack vectors. Where buyers should be concerned, especially manufacturers, is that there isn't a physical damage coverage grant with respect to every cyber policy," he said.

That could matter if a piece of malware rendered machinery physically inoperable. As it stands: not all cyber policies would cover that. "What I would tell manufacturers would be to be diligent with your broker," Ward said. "Run through some loss scenarios and make sure you're getting the coverage you want."

Check out Conan's full interview with Supply Chain Brain here.

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