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Zurich North America is introducing cyber insurance policy endorsements designed to expand manufacturers’ coverage.

The Swiss-based insurer said the endorsements were created in response to the growing threats posed to U.S. industrial firms by data breaches, ransomware and other cyber events.

Zurich said manufacturing companies, especially mid-sized organizations, have been unaware of the risks posed by cyber threats, which can have a serious impact on production and their reputation. The manufacturing industry has become a focus of attacks because users security has been weak.

The endorsements include:
1. Any components that are part of supervisory control and data acquisition systems, programmable logic controllers or other industrial control systems
2. Computer hardware, firmware, software and electronic data, and associated input and output devices used in manufacturers’ operational technology strategy
3. Computer peripheral devices, including wireless and mobile devices
4. Electronic backup facilities, including systems accessible through the internet, intranets, extranets or virtual private networks, that manufacturers use as part of their cybersecurity defense protocol

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“Historically, manufacturers have presented lower profiles to cyber criminals because they did not have large databases of personal information to be accessed and stolen,” said Michelle Chia, head of Professional Liability and Cyber for Zurich North America. “Today, 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 said most midsized companies, including manufacturers, don’t have the same cyber defense infrastructure and expertise as large organizations. In today’s rapidly evolving, increasingly threatening cyber risk environment, this can lead to a greater vulnerability for midsized manufacturers.

To help address those vulnerabilities, Zurich offers a variety of cyber security services to all midsized customers, from initial vulnerability assessments to network monitoring. Services can be packaged with a Zurich Cyber Insurance policy or can be purchased outside an insurance contract.

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