How to Achieve Cyber Resilience: Discussion with Cowbell and the SBA

by | Dec 29, 2022 | Cyber Risk, Market Trends

Earlier this year, Cowbell announced its national membership with the Small Business Digital Alliance (SBDA), the public-private co-sponsorship between the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Business Forward, Inc. The Alliance focuses on connecting small business leaders with the tools and resources needed to start, expand, and scale businesses to success. This aligns with Cowbell’s commitment to providing small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with continued cyber insurance education, encouraging continued resiliency growth through public-private sector collaboration. 

Cowbell co-hosted an event with the SBDA that aired virtually this month. The event took place in Los Angeles and convened local business leaders as well as government officials in a panel discussion about cyber resilience and the role cyber insurance plays in that. Maria Salinas, President, and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce delivered opening remarks. Panelists included SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, Jack Kudale, Founder and CEO, Cowbell, Dave Weller, Executive Vice President, AmWINS, and Fitz Swain, Cyber Specialty Team Leader, CRC Insurance Services. The panel was moderated by Liz Fairchild, Executive Director, Business Forward. Closing remarks were delivered by Stan Stahl, President, SecureTheVillage. 

Los Angeles is the country’s largest small business economy with more than 250,000 small businesses that employ over 40% of the local workforce, according to the Los Angeles County Small Business Ecosystem Assessment. Yet, four out of five SMEs are uninsured or underinsured, according to AdvisorSmith report and the cost of a breach ranges from $100K to $274K for SMEs (source: Cyentia). 

Most of the business in California consists of SMEs that cover a wide range of industries from healthcare to manufacturing to agriculture – industries for which Cowbell has a product solution geared toward their cyber needs. We have seen claims garnering national attention out of California coming from the healthcare and public-school administration space. Most SMEs are not equipped to prevent these claims. Furthermore, some of our top national partners are in the LA area – they can help provide solutions to the SME market, thus making it more cyber resilient.

Some highlights from the discussion are below:

  • “While every single business has faced incredible adversity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the major threats small businesses face in the 21st century are digital and the effects of cyberattacks can cause debilitating results to a business’s bottom line.” – Maria Salinas, LA Chamber of Commerce
  • “Cyber risk is a global risk. Cyber risk is a business risk – it is a fundamental risk to business.” – Jack Kudale, Cowbell
  • “It is about meeting our businesses where they are and hitting them from multiple angles with unified content and messaging so that they can adopt practices and be incentivized to plan.” Admin. Guzman
  • “As a provider, you have to innovate the product, the process has to be expedited, simplified, and you have to partner with the business so that it’s not just about the insurance policy, it’s about improving risk.” – Jack Kudale, Cowbell
  • “On this product line, it truly creates a partnership for small businesses because those services are available regardless of your premium, regardless of your size. That’s why I think it works.” – Dave Weller, AmWINS
  • “I’m excited that there are players out there like Cowbell who are really viewing their business model as not only providing the products but providing the information and awareness and understanding how to just become cyber secure.” – Admin. Guzman
  • “I think the bottom line is education – making both insureds, brokers, and carriers more aware of what risks are for certain classes of business and why you actually are a risk.” – Fitz Swain, CRC Insurance Services
  • “Much of this isn’t about spending money, it’s more about being mindful of security and security behaviors.” – Stan Stahl, SecureTheVillage

The recording of the full event can be accessed here.

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