July 31, 2020
With more than 10,000 customers who have insured over $12 billion of their risk, cybersecurity insurer Coalition is as much about preventing failures as it is helping recover stolen funds. Learn more about the company’s head of claims Catherine Lyle and the trends she is seeing in cybertheft and crime.
Lyle says finding a career in insurance was no accident for her—she discovered it while prosecuting insurance crimes under two different administrations for the Massachusetts attorney general. That’s how she learned the basics of the insurance industry and also where she started working on legislation that ultimately developed into cyberprivacy laws.
“Being nimble requires that strategies are treated as a framework and not as a straightjacket.” Lyle, on a lesson she learned working in both the private and public sector.
Lyle says her company is seeing many funds transfer claims originate from SPF exploitation, which enables a bad actor to send an email that seems legitimate but isn’t. Coalition is able to mobilize quickly to determine the entry point for the bad actor (thereby improving the victim’s security) and work with the FBI and financial institutions to recover the funds for policyholders.
“In 2020 alone, we have been able to recover 97 percent of all funds lost by Coalition policyholders.” Lyle, on how Coalition seeks to disincentivize criminals by clawing back stolen funds while also paying what they owe under a policy.
Lyle says that abrupt changes to businesses’ processes and security systems caused by COVID-19 hasn’t increased the number of claims at Coalition, but it has caused severity to go up. That’s because bad actors have more time to enter systems, stay inside longer, and gain a better understanding of a company’s financial strength and assets in order to maximize ransoms.
“Try to avoid working with someone who has no sense of humor.” Lyle, reflecting on the best advice she received (from mom).