Cyber Awareness from an Underwriting Perspective with Samantha Disabella

by | Oct 20, 2020

Cybersecurity and cyber insurance can, at times, feel overly impersonal but at their heart, they are industries fueled by actual people. The Resilience team will be sharing personal stories from our team all month long as part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Today we’re chatting with Samantha Disabella, Senior Underwriter for Resilience Insurance.

What brought you to cybersecurity/cyber insurance?

I studied marketing and communications in college, but after I graduated, was still unsure what I wanted for my career. After a conversation with a friend who was an underwriter, I decided to look into insurance. I started out as an underwriting assistant and ultimately ended up on the cyber team. From there I moved into underwriting, where I had a chance to learn more about cyber insurance and cybersecurity. Like many others, I ended up in insurance by chance, but I feel very fortunate to work on a line of insurance that is so important and relevant to businesses of all sizes.

What do you enjoy about working in cybersecurity/cyber insurance?

Cyberrisk is something that impacts every organization and many individuals, so working in cyber insurance has allowed me to work with and learn from a wide variety of people in the cybersecurity space. The cyber threat landscape continues to evolve, so as an underwriter, it is important that I educate myself and stay up to date on trends in order to provide the best coverage and service to my brokers. I enjoy the chance to learn on the job and come in contact with so much variety.

The theme for NCAM2020 is #BeCyberSmart with a specific emphasis on “If you connect it, protect it.” What does that bring to mind for you?

Not surprisingly, I start thinking about it from the underwriter perspective. Often, individuals  approach cybersecurity from a reactive nature and protecting yourself and your devices means moving to a more proactive posture. There are a lot of connected devices, especially things like smart home devices and Wi-Fi networks, that people don’t think about securing that hackers use as attack points. These devices should be protected by changing your default passwords, using multi-factor authentication where possible, and using best practices for your access points. I don’t know that I would think about this type of protection if I weren’t an underwriter.

Why do you think promoting awareness of cybersecurity is important?

People often think that cybersecurity threats only apply to larger organizations, but it impacts individuals as well. Whether it’s compromised access to your Netflix account or something larger like leaked personal security information, we all need to know how to protect ourselves. It is important that organizations and individuals address their security needs and make cybersecurity a priority.

Want to learn more about National Cybersecurity Awareness Month? Follow Resilience on Twitter and LinkedIn for updates!