Cyber insurance between the lines

Monday, 26 May 2003, 3:48 PM EST

It's a security professional's nightmare. Not a new virus or worm. Not a hacker from outside trying to penetrate perimeter defenses. Not even an attempted denial of service attack. The nightmare scenario is the "Jayson Blair" syndrome -- the trusted insider gone bad.

That can mean stealing information, destroying files, or virtually shutting down an entire company through the use of a Trojan horse or logic bomb. There are some attacks for which there is no perfect defense. Perimeter defenses don't work against insiders. Validation procedures may not work where the user can legitimately log in as root. Checks and balances, such as the "two person" rule, work only when properly implemented and rigorously adhered to.

So, we prevent the harm we can prevent, and insure against the harm we cannot prevent -- right? Do "computer crime" insurance policies make sense? The answer is, it depends.

[ Read more ]




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