Risk Insider: Jon Hall

Cyber Threats: 5 Questions Every Risk Manager Should Ask

By: | October 3, 2017 • 3 min read
Jonathan W. Hall is chief operating officer at FM Global. He oversees FM Global’s insurance operations and insurance staff functions, as well as the FM Global Resilience Index, a data driven resource that ranks the business resilience of 130 countries and regions. He can be reached at [email protected]

Questions around cyber risk can be dizzying now that it has become a business concern from the board level down.

In May and June 2017, two separate large-scale cyber attacks put the world on edge. The first attack employed so-called WannaCry ransomware; the second was a new strain of sophisticated malware commonly called Petya. Both caused widespread disruption to business by exploiting the Microsoft vulnerability Eternal Blue.

With some estimates showing that data breaches will cost businesses a collective $2.1 trillion by 2019 (a 400 percent increase over 2015), the best way to prepare for a loss is to do everything possible to prevent one. Is your organization prepared for the next major cyber attack and the potential risk to physical property? There are a number of questions you should ask your property insurer:

1. Can you help me understand my exposure?

It’s important your insurer explains what it can do to help you manage your cyber exposure. Many insurance companies are partnering with cyber security consultants or risk management firms. Their focus may be on event detection and breach response, but more than just detection and response is needed. Insureds should know their risk, and be prepared and resilient.

2. Can you help me improve my cyber risk?

As the number of cyber attacks increase, more companies will be exposed to financial loss and damage to their business reputation if they are not prepared to defend themselves and respond swiftly when breaches occur. Your insurer should be able to explain how it can help you assess all aspects of cyber risk, including your physical security, approach to information security and reliance on internet-connected industrial control systems. And it should provide practical, cost-effective solutions to improve the risk.

With some estimates showing that data breaches will cost businesses a collective $2.1 trillion by 2019 (a 400 percent increase over 2015), the best way to prepare for a loss is to do everything possible to prevent one.

3. Does my current property policy cover cyber?

It’s important to know exactly what kind of cyber coverage you have. You may have purchased stand-alone cyber insurance products, and may also have some type of cyber coverage in your property or general liability policy. You will want to know which policy will respond in the event of a loss.

Different companies have different cyber exposures. For instance, if you are most concerned with personally identifiable information (PII), then you’ll want to be sure to purchase enough PII liability cover. Companies with manufacturing operations are generally concerned with cyber physical events and, therefore, will want to ensure adequate coverage in their property policy to cover those types of events.

4. How will my insurance policies interact if I have a loss?

In the event of a cyber attack, you could be confronted with a wide range of consequences: damage to your data, network interruption, third-party liability and so on. Your focus will be on remediation and getting your company back in business. What you’d like to remove from the equation is uncertainty over how your cyber policies will interact. For a risk manager, the key is to know how your company’s policies will react before a loss occurs.

5. Can you help support my cyber risk discussions within my organization?

As a risk manager, you play a vital role in helping your company better understand cyber risk and its impact on your organization. Your insurer should be able to provide you with cyber resilience solutions that allow you to collaborate with your chief information security officer (CISO), or equivalent, to understand the business impact cyber risk has on your organization.

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Risk Management

The Profession

Janet Sheiner, VP of risk management and real estate at AMN Healthcare Services Inc., sees innovation as an answer to fast-evolving and emerging risks.
By: | March 5, 2018 • 4 min read

R&I: What was your first job?

As a kid, bagging groceries. My first job out of school, part-time temp secretary.

R&I: How did you come to work in risk management?

Risk management picks you; you don’t necessarily pick it. I came into it from a regulatory compliance angle. There’s a natural evolution because a lot of your compliance activities also have the effect of managing your risk.

R&I: What is the risk management community doing right?


There’s much benefit to grounding strategic planning in an ERM framework. That’s a great innovation in the industry, to have more emphasis on ERM. I also think that risk management thought leaders are casting themselves more as enablers of business, not deterrents, a move in the right direction.

R&I: What could the risk management community be doing a better job of?

Justified or not, risk management functions are often viewed as the “Department of No.” We’ve worked hard to cultivate a reputation as the “Department of Maybe,” so partners across the organization see us as business enablers. That reputation has meant entertaining some pretty crazy ideas, but our willingness to try and find a way to “yes” tempered with good risk management has made all the difference.

Janet Sheiner, VP, Risk Management & Real Estate, AMN Healthcare Services Inc.

R&I: What was the best location and year for the RIMS conference and why?

San Diego, of course!  America’s Finest City has the infrastructure, Convention Center, hotels, airport and public transportation — plus you can’t beat our great weather! The restaurant scene is great, not to mention those beautiful coastal views.

R&I: What’s been the biggest change in the risk management and insurance industry since you’ve been in it?

The emergence of risk management as a distinct profession, with four-year degree programs and specific academic curriculum. Now I have people on my team who say their goal is to be a risk manager. I said before that risk management picks you, but we’re getting to a point where people pick it.

R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?


The commercial insurance market’s ability to innovate to meet customer demand. Businesses need to innovate to stay relevant, and the commercial market needs to innovate with us.  Carriers have to be willing to take on more risk and potentially take a loss to meet the unique and evolving risks companies are facing.

R&I: Of which insurance carrier do you have the highest opinion?

Beazley. They have been an outstanding partner to AMN. They are responsive, flexible and reasonable.  They have evolved with us. They have an appreciation for risk management practices we’ve organically woven into our business, and by extension, this makes them more comfortable with taking on new risks with us.

R&I: Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the U.S. health care industry and why?

I am very optimistic about the health care industry. We have an aging population with burgeoning health care needs, coupled with a decreasing supply of health care providers — that means we have to get smarter about how we manage health care. There’s a lot of opportunity for thought leaders to fill that gap.

R&I: Who is your mentor and why?

Professionally, AMN Healthcare General Counsel, Denise Jackson, has enabled me to do the best work I’ve ever done, and better than I thought I could do.  Personally, my husband Andrew, a second-grade teacher, who has a way of putting things into a human perspective.

R&I: What have you accomplished that you are proudest of?

In my early 20s, I set a goal for the “corner office.” I achieved that when I became vice president.  I received a ‘Values in Practice’ award for trust at AMN. The nomination came from team members I work with every day, and I was incredibly humbled and honored.

R&I: What is your favorite book or movie?

The noir genre, so anything by Raymond Chandler in books. For movies,  “Double Indemnity,” the 1944 Billy Wilder classic, with insurance at the heart of it!

R&I: What is your favorite drink?


Clean water. Check out Water.org for how to help people enjoy clean, safe water.

R&I: What’s the best restaurant at which you’ve eaten?

Liqun Roast Duck Restaurant in Beijing.

R&I: What is the most unusual/interesting place you have ever visited?

China. See favorite restaurant above. This restaurant had been open for 100 years in that location. It didn’t exactly have an “A” rating, and it was probably not a place most risk managers would go to.

R&I: What is the riskiest activity you ever engaged in?

Eating that duck at Liqun!

R&I: If the world has a modern hero, who is it and why?

Dr. Seuss who, in response to a 1954 report in Life magazine, worked to reduce illiteracy among school children by making children’s books more interesting. His work continues to educate and entertain children worldwide.

R&I: What do your friends and family think you do?

They’re not really sure!

Katie Dwyer is an associate editor at Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at [email protected]