Apple has kept CEO Tim Cook’s enterprise security promise, staking space in one of the few growing sectors of the insurance market, revealing a new enterprise-focused cybersecurity offering brought to market with Cisco, Aon and Allianz.
Apple has kept CEO Tim Cook’s enterprise security promise and has staked space in one of the few growing sectors of the insurance market, revealing a new enterprise-focused cybersecurity offering brought to market with Cisco, Aon and Allianz.
The bug business
This is a big sector. The Fitch rating agency last year claimed insurers earned $1.35 billion from cyber insurance premiums in 2016, up 35 percent on 2015.
Enterprises are joining these insurance schemes because they recognize the scale of security threats is growing rapidly. The potential damage caused by successful exploits is also expanding exponentially in part because in a connected world, what goes wrong with one small node has an impact elsewhere in the tech food chain.
The Ponemon Institute claims that over two-thirds of Global 2000 businesses have already experienced a data breach and that up to 3 percent of enterprise devices are affected by malware at any particular time — even though the businesses concerned aren’t necessarily aware of this. Already cyber attacks are costing companies $400 billion every year, according to Lloyds.
A better world is possible
That’s the background in which Apple, Cisco, Aon and Alliance have come together. Apple’s highly secure platforms in conjunction with Cisco’s networking technologies and state-of-the-art security checks for Aon mean the giant insurer now sees the combination of these factors as capable of delivering far more security than you get using other platforms and providers.
Apple’s big message to the enterprise couldn’t be clearer; it can now claim to be the most secure technology provider for the enterprise, citing not just Cisco but also one of the world’s biggest insurers as witnesses as it makes its case that:
“The tight integration of hardware, software and services on iOS devices ensures that each component of the system is trusted, from initial boot-up to installing third-party apps. Users benefit from always-on hardware encryption, as well as support for secure networking protocols like Transport Layer Security (TLS) and VPN out of the box.”
The offer also means that any enterprise choosing to implement technologies, including other mobile platforms, will really need to think twice about how secure their business will be given Apple’s now-evidenced industry advantage in the space.
How the Apple/Cisco offering works
The Apple/Cisco offering works like this:
- Aon will work with a company that wants to take out the insurance package to figure out how secure they already are, making recommendations if required.
- The company will then implement Cisco Ransomware Defense on its Apple devices.
- Allianz will then offer a lower cost cybersecurity insurance.
Cisco Ransomware Defense is part of Cisco’s integrated security portfolio. It uses intelligence from Cisco Talos and enables the system to immediately block a threat to an enterprise if it is identified once.
“The solution includes advanced email security, next-generation endpoint protection and cloud-delivered malicious internet site blocking,” the press release explains.
What comes next?
There’s a move among security experts to recognize that traditional security models have been outmoded by modern threat.
What’s the use in building a security wall if the threats have already figured out how to move around, over and underneath that edifice?
Traditional attacks, viruses and more traditional malware are now far less of a threat than more complex exploits aimed at taking advantage of inherent weaknesses in infrastructure, such as the BlueBorne attacks.
To protect against such attacks, we’re seeing the evolution of what some firms call Mobile Threat Defence systems. These proactive cloud-based systems monitor activity on devices to provide more timely warnings of behaviour likely to suggest an attack is taking place.
Reading through Apple’s press release announcing its new service, I definitely see signals that suggest the partners are looking to expand the proactive security protection they’ve brought forward here.
“Proactive analysis coupled with the latest technology creates an ideal defense against today’s ever-changing ransomware and malware attacks,” Bill Scaldaferri, president and CEO of AGCS North America says. “This strategic alliance with Aon, Apple and Cisco allows us to provide a unique solution to companies using this integrated platform to manage risk and ultimately strengthen their battle against high-profile threats.”
Good for business
You have to hand it to Apple under Cook. Apple is staking strong space across an array of new business sectors, now sells the world’s most popular wearable, and continues dominance in the smartphone space.
The new enterprise-focused offering means the company now has another boast:
“We’re thrilled that insurance industry leaders recognize that Apple products provide superior cyber protection and that we have the opportunity to help make enhanced cyber insurance more accessible to our customers,” Cook said.