Zurich Insurance introduces new cyber insurance for manufacturers

Zurich Insurance has extended its cyber insurance coverage to the manufacturing industry, in response to the growing threats posed to the US industrial firms in terms of breaches, ransomware and other cyber events.

Zurich Insurance stated that it had been prompted to introduce the new offering because many manufacturers, especially mid-sized firms, are largely unaware of the growing cyber risks they face, as new digital technologies are replacing legacy systems and presenting new vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cyber criminals.

A cyber hack, malware, miscode or virus can severely impact a production line, supply chain and company reputation, the Swiss insurance giant stated.

The cyber coverage targets industrial firms of all sizes in the US

The cyber coverage offered by Zurich Insurance includes the components that are part of supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA), programmable logic controllers (PLC) or other industrial control systems.

It also covers computer hardware, firmware, software and electronic data, along with the associated input and output devices used in manufacturers’ operational technology strategy.

Computer peripheral devices, including wireless and mobile devices that comprise a growing segment of manufacturers’ overall connected environment will also be covered.

The coverage also includes electronic backup facilities, such as systems accessible through the internet, intranets, extranets or virtual private networks, which manufacturers use as part of their cyber security defence protocol.

Zurich North America professional liability and cyber head Michelle Chia said: “Historically, manufacturers have presented lower profiles to cyber criminals because they did not have large databases of personal information to be accessed and stolen.

as manufacturers become more dependent on network connections linking industrial control systems with production machinery, robotics and other vital hardware, they are becoming more attractive targets.

“If a plant is shut down for any length of time due to a cyber attack, the impact can be significant and long lasting.”

Chia stated that most mid-sized companies such as manufacturers lack the same cyber defence infrastructure and expertise compared to large organisations. In a rapidly evolving world, with ever-increasing cyber threats, it can lead to greater vulnerability for the manufacturers.

To address such vulnerabilities, Zurich is offering a variety of cyber security services to all mid-sized customers, from initial vulnerability assessments to network monitoring.

The services can be packaged with a Zurich Cyber Insurance Policy or can be purchased outside an insurance contract.