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Educational Institutions Among Sectors Increasing Spending on Cyber Insurance


Educational Institutions Among Sectors Increasing Spending on Cyber InsuranceA new report recently came out showing that businesses, especially those in certain industry sectors, are stepping up their Cyber Liability insurance spending. A look at U.S. clients shows that more universities, health care organizations, retailers, and financial institutions purchased Cyber insurance in the first half of 2015 compared to last year at this time.

In fact, universities and other organizations in the education sector saw almost a 90% change in Cyber insurance take-up rates in the first half of 2015 compared to the first half of 2014, according to the report.  The education sector’s cyber insurance growth rate surged to 155% during this time period. That’s because school settings are ripe for cyber attacks due to the volume of student and staff personal information stored in a variety of places.

One of the most recent data breach attacks, for example, occurred at Harvard University. The data breach at Harvard University was purported to have exposed system and email passwords belonging to an unspecified number of faculty, staff, and students from numerous schools and at least one major administrative network at the university. The university discovered the intrusion on June 19 but publicly disclosed it a few weeks later while working to mitigate the issue. A statement disclosing the breach said Harvard discovered an intrusion into the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) network and another one at the university Central Administration network. In addition to those on the FAS network, others whose data was compromised include people at Harvard Divinity School, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and other schools.

Data breaches are not only a university risk. K to 12 schools are also at risk, as they rely more on technology for day-to-day operations and incorporate more software, apps, online programs and web-based testing into classes. There’s also the exposure of the wealth of data these schools collect on students and store on their servers – from attendance records to medical issues. In Jersey City, New Jersey, for example, a charter school last June was able to obtain names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth and possibly Social Security numbers of students attending traditional public schools to mail them registration forms, according to the Jersey Journal. Last November, teachers’ data, including Social Security numbers, was compromised during an attack at Prince George’s County public schools in Maryland — affecting 10,000 of the district’s nearly 24,000 employees.

School districts along with higher learning educational institutions are realizing that cyber threats are increasingly more pervasive. They’re also beginning to wake up to the fact that without proper measures in place to assist in minimizing cyber risk along with the insurance to safeguard the institution’s assets and reputation, the costs could be staggering in the event of a loss.

Axis Insurance Services specializes in providing Cyber Liability/Privacy & Network Security insurance and is poised to assist educational institutions and other industry sectors in obtaining customized coverage to address your needs. Give our professionals a call at (877) 787-5258 to discuss how we can put an effective, competitive program in place for you.

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Blogged on: November 16, 2015 by Mike Smith
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