Cyber Insurance: Microsoft 365, At-Bay Partnership May Reduce Customer Premiums

Microsoft and At-Bay have partnered to help U.S.-based Microsoft 365 customers secure their Office 365 deployments and reduce their cyber insurance premiums, the two companies said.

The strategy involves a healthy dose of technology plus proper security controls. To qualify for the potential cyber insurance cost reductions, U.S.-based Microsoft 365 customers have to implement multifactor authentication and Microsoft Defender for Office 365, among other required steps.

In addition to these security controls, the level of potential cyber insurance savings depends on the loss history and individual risk profile of each business, Microsoft and At-Bay said.

Interested businesses can contact their insurance agent to get started with the program offer, Microsoft said. The announcement did not describe if or how Microsoft will extend the cyber insurance strategy through partners such as MSPs, VARs and IT consulting firms that support SMB (small and midsize business) end-customers.

Cyber Insurance Market: Opportunities and Challenges

The Microsoft-At Bay partnership arrives at a key time for SMB customers. Amid supply chain attacks against RMM (remote monitoring and management) software providers, thousands of MSPs and SMB customers remain susceptible to downstream ransomware attacks.

Amid rising ransomware attacks, multiple startups — backed by venture capital funding — are striving to meet rising demand for cyber insurance. For instance, Coalition raised $205 million in Series E funding at a $3.5 billion valuation, that company announced in September 2021. Also, Cowbell Cyber unveiled a cyber insurance partner program for MSSPs in June 2021.

Still, small businesses often scramble to find cyber insurance — without necessarily understanding how to navigate the market for options. Microsoft’s partnership with At-Bay may help to mitigate customer confusion about insurance policies and associated best practices.

Microsoft, At-Bay Partnership: Cyber Insurance Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the partnership, At-Bay CEO Rotem Iram said:

“An insurance policy is an effective tool to articulate the impact of cybersecurity choices on the financial risk of a company. By offering better pricing to companies that implement stronger controls, we help them understand what matters in security and how best to reduce risk. Working with Microsoft enables us to educate customers on the powerful security controls that exist within Microsoft 365 and reward them for adopting those controls.”

Added Ann Johnson, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of security, compliance & identity (SCI) business development:

“For cyber insurance to play a meaningful role in overall risk management, buyers and sellers need the benefit of data and clear visibility into what is covered and factors either minimizing or multiplying risk exposure. Microsoft’s partnership with At-Bay brings important clarity and decision-making support to the market as organizations everywhere seek a comprehensive way to empower hybrid workforces with stronger, centralized visibility and control over cloud applications boosting security and productivity.”

More details about the partnership are expected to surface at the InsureTech Connect (ITC) conference, which is scheduled for October in Las Vegas.

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