Cowbell’s Approach to Cyber CAT Modeling in the SME market

by | Feb 15, 2023 | Cyber Risk, Podcast

Welcome to Season 6 of The Cowbell Factors podcast. For the first episode of this season, we welcomed Dan Palardy, Cowbell’s Lead Actuary to the show. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  1. A catastrophic, or “cat”, event has historically been related to property insurance in hurricane-prone areas, but lately does apply to cyber insurance. To date, our society has not experienced a catastrophic cyber event, but it is important to be prepared for one. While infrequent, cat events are, by definition, very severe.
  2. The difference between systemic risk and cat risk is that systemic risk is a possibility that a single event or development might trigger widespread failure spanning multiple organizations throughout the entire ecosystem. For cyber, cat risk would be viewed more along the lines of a systemic event that is catastrophic in scale and causes significant loss. For cyber, isolated shocks to the system (a cat event) are less likely than widespread (systemic) events.
  3. Cowbell’s recently released whitepaper that defines our approach to cat modeling focuses on why cyber catastrophe (cyber cat) is different from natural catastrophe (nat cat) and how SME cyber risk is different from large cyber risk. 
  4. Cowbell has deep cyber insurance expertise in the SME market. Cyber risk is different for SMEs compared to larger enterprises – the level of cyber risk is a direct function of the quality and quantity of their digital touchpoints. Specifically, the degree and manner of interconnectedness that SMEs have with the larger digital ecosystem vary greatly. Additionally, threat actors and their motivations are different for SME targets – SMEs are typically not targets of political and ideological attacks.
  5. Being a tech-enabled insurance carrier with augmented underwriting, Cowbell acts somewhat like a virtual CISO for organizations that may not normally have one. Education is key and Cowbell is uniquely positioned to have an impact in this space – our closed-loop approach to risk management and continuous underwriting help improve policyholders’ risk profiles and cybersecurity postures on a continuous basis.

For more, be sure to listen to Dan’s full podcast episode. Visit the Cowbell Factor Podcast library to listen to last season’s episodes and subscribe to stay up to date on upcoming ones. It is available on most podcast platforms (iHeartRadio, Spotify, Google podcast, Apple podcast, Anchor, and Radio Public). If you enjoyed this episode, consider rating it with 5 stars on Spotify and Apple!

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