What is Dynamic Loss Prevention?

Dynamic Loss Prevention. You may have heard us crowing about it at Corvus (pun intended) – but if you haven’t worked with us before it might not be obvious what the “DLP” is, and why we created it. Today I’m sharing some basic insight into this key component of our Smart Commercial Insurance products.

In short, Dynamic Loss Prevention is a way for policyholders with Corvus to better understand, manage, and reduce their risk.

There are a couple key components to consider. First, the heart of the matter: loss prevention. Let’s explore this in the context of cyber insurance. When a company is being quoted for a cyber insurance policy, a good deal of analysis of their current IT security must be conducted in order to provide optimal pricing and coverage options. At Corvus, that analysis is done through an automated scan. While the data we gather from the scan is immediately necessary for underwriting purposes, it’s far from the only way it can be useful.

Corvus DLP Report

The DLP Report breaks down the information into a single Corvus Smart Score (a weighted measure of overall security), Risk Exposures (ratings for each of the eight risk groups that comprise the Smart Score) and Recommendations (clear advice on opportunities to fix vulnerabilities, prioritized by potential impact on overall security). See the video below for a closer look.

No matter how actively an organization monitors and adapts their IT security, information from the scan can provide a useful perspective. Sometimes it reveals blind spots, where IT managers had overlooked a vulnerability. Sometimes a new issue has arisen since the last time there was a comprehensive check-up. Many organizations simply do not actively manage IT security, and the DLP provides a primer and direction for them to get started.

Whatever the case may be, the information can be put to use by the policyholder to proactively mitigate risk. Looking at the exposure groups gives a broad sense of where trouble spots are, and Recommendations are intended to be actionable. If steps are taken to improve, not only will the policyholder mitigate their risk of a claim, they may see improved pricing or coverage options when it is time to renew.

Why Dynamic? 

Why is is the DLP “dynamic”? Simple: it’s not a one-and-done report. We deliver DLP reports to policyholders throughout the policy period, and upon renewal. These reports can show a developing trend (good or bad) in IT security. If it’s a negative trend, the policyholder can nip it in the bud before it becomes a major issue. These days, with more and more data being stored in web-accessible (cloud) infrastructure and companies expanding their digital capabilities, the “dynamic” aspect of the DLP is critical.

See our video to take a look at a DLP Report up close, and click to get more info about how we map Risk Exposures to IT vulnerabilities.

View from the Nest: Welcoming Joel Fehrman and the Atlanta Office

Today we’re thrilled to be welcoming Joel Fehrman, VP of Cyber Underwriting, to the Corvus Flock, as well as announcing another “nest” for Corvus in Atlanta.

Based in our new Atlanta office, Joel comes to Corvus with an extensive background in technology and insurance underwriting. He spent the first nine years of his professional career in the technology industry with a leading supply chain software company before pursuing his MBA and transitioning into Technology E&O and Cyber Liability insurance. He spent the next nine years as an underwriter at CNA, XL, and Beazley.

Joel is excited to join Team Corvus. “I think this is an exciting time in insurance where technology is converging with a traditionally slow-to-change business model,” he says. “Corvus understands and utilizes the advantages that technology can bring to brokers, insureds, and underwriters. Corvus is doing this within the current distribution structure, which I believe provides a critical and often underappreciated value-add to insureds.”

Joel currently lives in Atlanta with his “awesome” wife Maggie and “the Pack” – their three rescue dogs. He’s been living in the Atlanta area for nearly 20 years after attending Georgia Tech, though growing up he lived in places as varied as California, Japan, Ohio and Las Vegas. Outside of work you can find Joel mountain biking, cheering on Georgia Tech and Cincinnati Bengals football, or partaking in hobbies like clay shooting, darts, and amateur motorsports.

With the addition of Joel and the Atlanta office, Corvus now operates in five locations—with Atlanta joining New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and our headquarters in Boston. We’re excited to be putting down roots in the southeast!

Please join us in welcoming Joel. 

Cyber Risks vs. Insurance: Where do they intersect?

Some commercial insurance categories map intuitively to the vulnerabilities that could trigger them. Not having a sprinkler system increases the risk of catastrophic fire, and such a fire in a factory will clearly cause loss of property and interruption to business operations. It’s easy to draw the line from sprinklers to property and BI risk. 

Other times, risks themselves can be hard to understand, and therefore hard to map to insurance exposure. Even if you know something about a company’s IT vulnerabilities, it can be hard to know exactly how, for an example, a poor software patching regimen impacts the threat of ransomware and therefore potential losses resulting from dealing with a ransom situation. What is software patching, anyway?  

Risk Exposures: Explained

Making matters worse, many IT security exposure categories map to multiple possible insurance risks. To make sense of these complicated interactions, we put together a document that provides a basic overview of how common IT exposure categories map to insurance risks. See the first page our infographic here, and download the full PDF to see the second page with deeper explanations.


The Corvus Scan identifies eight primary categories of risk exposure: Software Patching, Web Encryption, Email Security, Web Applications, Threat Intelligence, Defensibility, System Hosting, and DNS Security.

Our infographic explains how all of these eight categories may potentially relate to an insurance policy. For instance, poor email security can lead to a bad actor gaining access to an organization’s sensitive information. Poor system hosting might allow a hacker to shut down an organization’s website, leading to an interruption of business. It’s all connected, and it all goes back to your risk exposure. Click to see more.

Click here to access the document and learn all about how the Corvus Scan can help you mitigate your risk exposure!

Getting to know the Corvus Scan

If you work with Corvus, you know that the Corvus Scan is a critical part of what makes our Smart Cyber Insurance policies work. It’s what enables us to quickly provide customized price and coverage options for brokers and helps to make our form one of the shortest in the industry.

What you might not know is exactly what goes into each scan, behind the scenes. 

How the Corvus Scan works

The Corvus Scan is a non-invasive test of an organization’s web-facing assets. Since it doesn’t involve penetrating an organization’s IT systems, we don’t require a password or any special access. All of the information we need is out in the open — you just have to know where to look, and what to do with it.

Finding out where that information is — all of the IT “exposure” the organization has in terms of infrastructure they own or use — is what takes place in the first phase of the scan: the Discovery phase. After that, the Testing phase involves running vulnerability tests against the assets that have been identified in order to assess security.

Corvus Scan Infographic

Finally, the results of the tests are aggregated and weighted appropriately given their severity. And once the policy is in effect, further monitoring takes place on a continuous basis. If any external events occur that may jeopardize the organization, they will be notified. This all takes place during the Recommendations and Ongoing Monitoring phase.

While those are the basics, many brokers and policyholders we talk to are interested in getting deeper into what goes into the scan. That’s why we created a document that covers it all: from how the scan works, to the three phases in the scan process, and how the results are turned into our Dynamic Loss Prevention Reports.

Click here to access the Corvus Scan overview and learn all about the scan!

View from the Nest: Recapping a Busy First Quarter

For all of us at Corvus, it’s been a busy winter – we can’t believe spring is already here! We’ve been launching products, opening new offices, and pushing our technology to new heights.

But when you’re constantly in flight, it’s easy to forget to look back at where you’ve come. So today we’re doing just that and taking a moment to reflect on the past few months at Corvus.

Get To Know Corvids: Happy Spring! Did you know that corvids are a great ally in your garden? 60 to 90 percent of the insects that rooks eat are agricultural pests. Maybe you don’t need that scarecrow after all — unless of course you’ve just planted (seeds are a yummy corvid snack).

New Nests and New Corvids

We started the new year by announcing our West Coast office in LA. Brian Alva and Amanda Mirabile joined us to start the office, and we’re so happy to have them on the team, with lots of demand for Smart Commercial Insurance from brokers across the western U.S.

But our expansion this year wasn’t limited to the West – at the end of March we also announced our first office in the southern U.S., in Dallas TX. Greg Wagner joined Corvus to launch this office and enhance our presence across the Lone Star state and the midwest. Welcome to the team Greg!

New Underwriting Appetite and Tech

For many of the brokers we work with, the most exciting news of the quarter was our increased appetite for cyber. In March we announced Smart Cyber Excess Insurance, our third product. Our Excess offering enables Corvus to participate in cyber coverage towers with limits up to $1bn in revenue with $10 million in aggregate limits. We’re excited to be able to bring our Smart Cyber Insurance product to more of your clients through our Excess offering.

Our amazing Data Science team is also working constantly to improve our technology. One update from this quarter enables Corvus to quote faster — including within 5 minutes for many accounts. Give us a shout if you’d like to learn more about faster quoting from Corvus.

Content for Brokers

We’ve also been busy publishing. Recent posts cover topics like:

Plus our whitepaper on Silent Cyber Risk was launched in February – if you missed it, check it out here.

Look out for more from Corvus in the next three months — we hope you’ll be flying with us along the way!

View From The Nest: Welcoming Greg Wagner

The Corvus team is thrilled to introduce our newest VP of Cyber Underwriting, Greg Wagner. Greg will be starting our new office in Texas.

Welcome to the flock, Greg!

Greg is a native Texan and a 12 year veteran of the insurance industry. He has focused on Cyber and Technology E&O insurance for the past nine years at Beazley and Travelers. He previously worked at The Hartford and graduated from the University of North Texas where he studied Risk Management. He loves his family as well as serving in the community and church.

The new location for Corvus in Dallas, TX, will be our first location in the southern U.S. The opening of the Dallas office comes two months after we announced our West Coast office in Los Angeles. We now have “nests” in four locations, including our headquarters in Boston and our office in New York City.

As a passionate underwriter, Greg is keyed into the educational aspects of his role. He sees a trend toward non-traditional data liability buyers coming to the market who can be helped in understanding what coverage is best for their exposures, as well as a continuing focus on educating clients of all types around vulnerabilities like social engineering that can be mitigated through greater awareness.

“I am excited to be at the forefront of the crossroads between the traditional way of placing insurance programs and the future by utilizing technology to better empower the broker and insured when making the important decisions around the structure of their insurance program,” Greg says.

We’re so glad to have Greg on board. With his help, Corvus will meet the growing demand for our Smart Commercial Insurance™ policies in the thriving Texas and broader midwest markets.

Are you a broker in Texas or the midwest? We’d love to talk. Get in touch with us here!

Corvus Shortlisted for Two Cyber Risk Awards

The Corvus team is excited to be participating in Advisen’s 2019 Cyber Risk Awards!

Corvus has been shortlisted in two categories: Cyber Newcomer of the Year and Cyber Risk Innovation of the Year for our Smart Cyber Insurance™ product. We’re honored to be among the great companies in these categories, with leaders in cyber insurance on the cutting edge of innovation in our field. 

Can we count on you for a vote?

It means so much to us to know that brokers and partners we work with see the value in our products. If you feel that we’ve earned your vote for Cyber Newcomer of the Year and Cyber Risk Innovation of the Year, you can head to Advisen’s website to learn more about the awards or click here to go straight to the voting form to cast your vote. We truly appreciate it.

About Smart Cyber Insurance

With Corvus’s Smart Cyber Insurance policies, rich sets of data are gathered through our non-intrusive Corvus Scan, and analyzed with the help of AI to instantly and accurately assess risk to inform underwriting. Our Dynamic Loss Prevention Reports provide actionable recommendations to mitigate risk and prevent claims over time, including real-time threat monitoring, while the CrowBar platform provides on-demand access to policy information, claims reporting, loss prevention recommendations, and business intelligence.

With Smart Cyber Insurance, brokers can be confident in delivering their clients the data and understanding they need to make key decisions about their coverage, and reduce their cyber risk over time.

Click here to learn more about Smart Cyber Insurance.

Cyber Policyholders Need Security Data – Brokers Can Help

Few cyber insurance policyholders have a security program in place. That’s an opportunity for insurers and brokers. 

For large businesses, cyber risk is a fact of life. After the spate of privacy breaches and ransomware attacks experienced by companies with household-name brands, including the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks of 2017, cyber risk shot up to the top of lists of business risks. A recent survey of large businesses from Willis Towers Watson suggested that 85% of US employers and 72% of UK employers consider cybersecurity to be a top priority.

In general, these companies have the resources to take on the issue of cyber risk head on with well-developed IT policies and programs throughout the enterprise. But if you’re not a Fortune 500 company (or even a Fortune 1000 company) are the headline-making events of the last few years enough to coax you to take action?

Most would answer yes, with some caveats. One way to look at this is by looking at the market for cyber insurance. The steady growth not just in the enterprise segment, but also in middle and small business segments, speaks for itself. Within the SMB segment, first-time buyers of cyber insurance policies grew an average of over 30% each quarter for the year leading up to Q3 2018. That is substantial growth.

Yet awareness of the issue, and the penetration of cyber insurance, doesn’t provide a complete picture of risk, or what companies can do about it.

A recent survey from the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (CIAB) found that just 37% of commercial brokers’ clients have a security program in place to prevent or mitigate the effects of cyber attacks. These clients run the gamut from SMBs to the largest enterprises. The number is surprising given that this is a sample of companies that we already know have cyber insurance – so they are certainly aware of the risk, and willing to take steps to mitigate their financial exposure. Yet few have put procedures and programs in place to prevent the events they are insured for.

This points to a major opportunity for the insurance industry.

Companies of all sizes are clearly looking to insurers for help to protect against cyber risk. While the world’s biggest companies are already backing up their cyber insurance policies with standardized security procedures deployed across many thousands of employees and applications, companies in the vast middle market, including many large businesses, are not. The insurance industry serving this market can surely underwrite the risk and provide policies — but we can also help provide the knowledge companies need to help push toward safer practices and policies for cyber.

The key, as with much innovation in today’s business world, is data.

As cutting-edge cyber insurers develop new means of identifying and pricing cyber risk, the next frontier should be deploying that knowledge in ways other than simply fueling a premium and coverage decision. The opportunity is there for insurers to arm brokers with data about their clients’ vulnerabilities. In turn, brokers have the opportunity to relay that information to clients, ensuring they understand it. The challenge for everyone throughout the insurance value chain is presenting data clearly, making it actionable for the policyholders.

The CIAB survey noted that 85% of brokers have a “strategic approach to marketing and educating clients about cyber risks.” It’s time for insurers and brokers alike to take it a step further. If clients can get their hands on actionable information about cyber security — armed with knowledge of what it means, and what to do about it — it could mean fewer claims, lower premiums, and a safer web environment for everyone.

10 Years in Cyber Risk

The “10 Year Challenge” meme that made the rounds last month on Facebook and Instagram got us thinking about how things have changed in a decade in the world of cyber risk.

Looking back to the cyber risk landscape of 2009, it’s not a clear-cut narrative of change between then and now. In fact, it’s a bit like the people who shared their photos for the challenge: on the surface, much is new and different – yet certain more essential aspects remain unchanged.

First let’s look at the similarities. In a general sense, cyber risk was already well-known 10 years ago, at least in government, military, and tech, if not in the broader business community. That year, President Obama launched a White House cybersecurity office and focused a major speech on the subject. North Korea made headlines for alleged cyber attacks on South Korea. Twitter suffered its first high-profile distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Spear phishing was known as one of the top tactics for hackers. Many of these stories and topics wouldn’t be out of place if published today, with a few names and details changed.

But just as technology has driven rapid change in how we communicate and consume information on the Internet in the last 10 years, cyber risk has evolved and expanded. Here are three of the key ways that cyber risk has changed.

The scale of cyber risk has exploded

First, scale. In 2009, the iPhone was only two years old, and Android was in its infancy. The predominant access point for the Internet was the personal computer and web browser, and most businesses still hosted their data in on-premises servers.

Today, our smartphone apps, speaker systems, thermostats, cars, and even household appliances are increasingly Internet-connected and thus are potential vectors for attack. Next year it’s expected that there will be 20 billion IoT devices in use worldwide; in 2009 that number was under 1 billion.

Meanwhile, this trend toward increased connectivity has led to increasing loads of data being collected and stored by businesses, who in turn have dealt with the task of managing and storing that data by turning to cloud-based storage options. Now, not only are businesses holding onto an abundance of data, it’s also being stored in a way that increases the attack surface – scattered on third-party servers that are often accessible through the web.

On the basis of scale alone, cyber risk is a completely different conversation in 2019 than it was in 2009.

Cyber risk has gone mainstream

Next is awareness. For business leaders, the last 10 years have presented a series of wake up calls in the form of data breaches and ransomware attacks. Target and Home Depot in 2013 and 2014. Anthem, the major health insurer, in 2015. A slew of major businesses in 2017, including Equifax, Merck, Maersk, and more. All of a sudden, the cyber risk conversation spread from the realm of datacenters and nuclear facilities into the mainstream of businesses large and small — and their employees, personal computers, and customers.

A survey from Allianz of business leaders puts cyber risk at #2 on a list of business risks – up from 15th just five years ago.

The cyber risk conversation is now an insurance conversation

Finally, one that’s close to home for us at Corvus: insurance. While cyber insurance has been available in some form since the 1990’s, it has only become a common, well-known option for businesses much more recently. Once businesses came to grips with the scale of the digital assets they had to protect, and the business risks posed by high-profile cyber attacks, they naturally looked to their insurers for help. The industry has responded, and now there are a number of options for cyber insurance, both from traditional insurers and from startups like Corvus who work with carriers.

Aside from the fact that there are more options to insure cyber risk, there is also far more in the way of information and knowledge suffused throughout the insurance industry. As with other complex commercial insurance products, insurance brokers are the preferred channel for businesses to get informed about and acquire insurance. Wholesale brokers and some retail brokers are increasingly folding cyber into their standard set of commercial offerings, and developing institutional expertise in insuring cyber risk.

Part of extending knowledge about cyber risk is sharing data, something that is possible, and indeed welcomed, in cyber insurance today. This is a departure both from the cyber landscape of 2009, and from the traditional model of insurance. The digital landscape is constantly evolving — and with new types of threats, and new vulnerabilities, popping up constantly, predicting risk is hard. That’s why, for insurers, gathering as much new data as possible about cyber risks is critical; and why sharing that data with brokers, and in turn with policyholders, helps to prevent claims and improve the products that get put into the market. Sharing data has become a cornerstone of our approach at Corvus, and makes cyber insurance unique within the field of insurance.

The last 10 years have brought a massive changes to cyber risk, and the next 10 are sure to bring more yet. All of us in the cyber insurance field are working to ensure that in spite of its constant evolution, the cyber landscape becomes safer more predictable by the end of the next decade.

What’s in a Name? The Story of “Corvus”

We’re often asked about the significance of our name, Corvus Insurance. It’s a story we enjoy telling, because it helps explain our approach to building products and writing Smart Commercial Insurance™ policies.

Corvus is a class of birds – a genus, specifically – that includes species like crows, ravens, and rooks. As a group, these birds are known for their exceptional intelligence. Crows are said to be as smart as seven- to ten-year-old humans. They are great communicators and collaborators and have long, detailed memories.

Perhaps their most remarkable quality is their ability to create tools. Crows not only use twigs to extract insects from logs — they take it a step further by carving hooks at the end of the twigs to make them more effective. They’ve also been observed dropping crabs in busy roadways so that their prey is run over by cars, making for an easier snack. This kind of resourcefulness makes corvids fascinating creatures to study.

It’s these traits of corvids that inspire us at Corvus Insurance.

We, too, create tools, like our web-based platform CrowBar. We use all the materials available to us — in this case, not twigs, but rich streams of data — to uncover actionable information to share with brokers and their clients. By bringing a greater degree of intelligence to the entire commercial insurance process, we strive to deliver on the promise of our product name, Smart Commercial Insurance™.

That’s what makes us Corvids: resourcefully building tools to help empower insurance brokers with data and smart policies. We’re building our “nest” and growing our flock, and we are ready to soar with you.