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Baltimore City Purchases $20M Cyber Insurance Following Ransomware Attack

Following a successful ransomware attack against the city earlier this year, Baltimore, Md. has purchased $20 million in cybersecurity insurance.

The city’s Board of Estimates approved the purchase of two insurance coverage plans on Oct. 16. The insurance will help mitigate ongoing expenses from the city’s recovery efforts from its ransomware attack and it covers any additional disruptions to the city’s networks over the coming year. The purchase is the result of a competitive bidding process that involved 17 insurance carriers.

As costs from this spring’s ransomware attack on Baltimore continue to come due, city officials will buy $20 million in cyber liability insurance. The first plan is $10 million in liability coverage from Chubb Insurance, which will cost the city roughly half a million dollars in premiums. The second plan is an additional $10 million in excess coverage provided by AXA XL Insurance for $335,000. Both plans have a $1 million deductible.

The coverage term for the new policies is one year; however, Lester Davis, a spokesman for Mayor Jack Young, indicated that the city will likely renew the policies in the future. Though, he did acknowledge the city will have to reevaluate on a yearly basis. “The city is going to reassess every year,” Davis said. “They will have to go through this process again when the terms are nearing maturity.”

The Board of Estimates also approved more than $3.7 million in payments for contractors who have aided in the city’s recovery efforts. The Board also approved $300,000 for cybersecurity firm Crypsis to provide network monitoring services for an additional 130 calendar days.

As the city continues to recover, Sheryl Goldstein, Young’s deputy of operations said the city is “now in the next phase of building a better and stronger and more protected network.” However, she acknowledged that the specter of another attack is always looming on the horizon. “There are no guarantees, right? This happens to governments local and abroad. It happens to businesses that are incredibly well resourced,” Goldstein said. “The hackers get more and more sophisticated. We’re doing everything we can to work really hard to secure the network.”

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