Our thanks to Joe Davis of Houchens Insurance Group for presenting at the May Facility Managers Meeting.
Based in Bowling Green, Houchins Insurance Group has several locations throughout the commonwealth, including an office in Elizabethtown. The company also has an office in Nashville, Tennessee. A subsidiary of Houchens Industries, Houchens Insurance Group primarily serves commercial clients.
Before Davis addressed attendees of the Facility Managers Meeting, Joe Stewart, President of Houchens Insurance Group’s Elizabethtown office and Daniel Tabb, Commercial Lines Producer with the Elizabethtown office, both gave brief remarks describing some of the services provided through the company and the history of its Elizabethtown office. Houchins Insurance Group acquired the Elizabethtown-based Curneal & Hignite Insurance, Inc. in 2007. That same year, the company acquired Heartland Insurance and in 2014, Tabb Insurance.
During his remarks, Davis, who serves as Cyber Practice Leader for Houchens Insurance Group, discussed cyber security and how this topic is particularly pertinent to the manufacturing sector. He said over the last year, the manufacturing sector has been one of the hardest-hit sectors of the economy when it comes to cyber attacks. Though cyber attacks are often associated with financial institutions and healthcare systems, Davis said because of regulations regarding cyber security within those sectors, they have become less attainable targets for ransom attacks.
“Right now, the cyber marketplace and the bad actors within that are looking for different industries to disrupt so they can get money,” he said.
When cyberattackers are able to access sensitive data, they can hold this data for ransom and often demand a monetary payment through a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Davis said. He stressed that cyber attacks are not often performed by individuals, but through online programs that have been developed to identify networks with weak security measures.
“It’s programs that are built to identify vulnerabilities and once those vulnerabilities are exploited, then they’re able to go from there and try to get some monetary value by shutting things down,” he said.
As these attacks become more commonplace, cyber liability insurance has gone through a great transformation in the last five years, Davis said. He said Houchens Insurance Group is handling $32 million in claims from cyber attacks that have occurred within just the last six months. Many of these claims are from clients in the manufacturing sector, he said.
“This is the future of insurance,” Davis said.
Manufacturing plants that face a cyber attack must not only consider the money lost from a ransom payment, but also money lost from digital forensics costs, legal costs and most significantly, the cost of lost business income, Davis said. He said the average business loses 28 days of productivity when faced with a cyber attack. Depending on the size of the business and the industry, this can result in millions of dollars worth of lost income. Davis said any business facing a ransom attack should immediately record business income losses.
Because of the increase of cyber insurance claims in recent years, Davis said insurance companies have had to increase premiums and are starting to become more selective when it comes to offering plans to businesses. Insurance companies are now looking at key factors in regards to IT security before offering cyber security insurance, such as multi-factor authentication, endpoint detection and response tools, and cloud-based segregated backups.
Davis said employee education concerning cyber security also is important and he recommended a quarterly phishing test for employees.
“Those are just baseline things that they’re looking at,” Davis said. “If you don’t have these in place, you’re just behind the times. When it comes to your IT security, you’re a sitting duck.”
Following this month’s meeting, no Facility Managers Meetings will be held in June or July. Meetings are set to resume in August.
For more information, or if interested in attending the next facility managers meeting, please contact the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation at 270-737-0300.