Cloud-based insurance policies show lessened concerns

June 5, 2012

Worries about data security in the cloud and the reliability of the burgeoning technology have largely prevented companies that use the cloud from getting any kind of insurance for the services. With the fears associated with the cloud being addressed and more companies turning toward the cloud's data storage capabilities, a major insurance broker is hoping to encourage more adoption, according to Insurance Journal.

No existing products
While there have been products in place to cover a company's liability to hacking and other threats, many existing insurance products don't cover cloud security, according to the Financial Times.

"I haven't seen many insurance products covering cloud-based risk," Sarah Goddard, the CEO of Dublin International Insurance, told the Times. "There are cyberliability products out there, but they are primarily concerned with hacking."

Fresh offering
With many cloud providers themselves failing to take on much responsibility for data protection, the burden fell to the companies. The new type of insurance product provides the protection for losses that result from a failure on the end of the cloud provider, according to Insurance Journal.

The potential of the cloud has opened up new plans for insurance companies to offer users, but many have relied on existing cybersecurity plans in the past, according to Business Insurance. An insurance VP told the industry publication that cloud providers provide only a "new twist on the old outsourcing," and not many companies have changed.

According to Information Journal, the new type of policy would provide coverage for lost business income relating to service loss from the provider, as well as for finding a new provider and transferring service.

Unknown risks
With the insurance industry taking a risk-oriented view when it comes to cloud computing, brokers were initially hesitant to provide cloud-specific policies, Goddard told the financial times. The belief was that insurers could not fathom the risk that accompanied the use of cloud services, and found it impossible to properly price a product.

As the security that life in the cloud offers became clearer, the overall level of risk came into focus as well. This increased trust in cloud data security allowed insurance companies to release a product with a sense of their own security in its profitability.

The long-awaited presence of insurance does not limit the need for endpoint  security when it comes to cloud services. With the company using the cloud, not the service provider, often liable when things go wrong, there can be no malaise. Companies still need to deploy their own policies to protect not just their data, but their bank account.

-McAfee Cloud Security