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Anti-Hacking premiums 25% higher for Win NT

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An insurance policy against hacker-inflicted damage costs 25 per cent more for companies using Windows NT.

This is because "there are so many security holes in Microsoft products", John Wurzler, of Wurzler underwriting managers, told us today.

Wurzler's stance could be a little unfair - security is far more dependent on how well the infrastructure is designed and set up rather than the products used to build it, we argued.

Wurzler concedes this point but says his company has to charge premiums based on an insured organisation's turnover, the probability of an attack and the chances of success of an attack.

And the interesting thing is that such policies are available in the first place. Wurzler has sold insurance policies of between $5,000-$25,000 and, so far, the highest pay-out has been $200,000

Firms are being encouraged to guard themselves against the effects of a hacking attack on their business by taking out insurance.

Managed security service firms and insurance brokers are developing forms of cyber-insurance that cover Web site security breaches and virus attacks, which are not covered by general insurance business policies.

With the cost of hacking and security breaches put at $378 million in 2000 (according to a recent FBI-backed survey) it seems to make sense to use insurance as a way of managing risk.

Insurance policies, which are available through security firms like Counterpane Internet Security and insurance brokers Wurzler, are generally offered in tandem with a thorough security audit.

The introduction of security insurance policies, and we'll leave it to you to read the fine print on policies and decide which you prefer, could have important implications - if it influences customer purchase decisions on security technology or even operating system. ®

External links

Wurzler
MIS Corporate Defence's insurance policy
... and a policy from Counterpane Internet Security
Computer Security Institute and FBI2001 Computer Crime and Security Survey

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