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An insurance rethink?

Cyber insurers say the <a href="https://preprod.cyberscoop.com/cyber-insurance-ransomware-crisis/?__hstc=188609527.e0315fbbed8262acf301a0171d6f0cfe.1619789120756.1630014675867.1630074208619.358&__hssc=188609527.2.1630074208619&__hsfp=3130220634">constant rise in claims</a> for covering ransomware payments is driving up premiums for all sorts of organizations. And in the midst of this market upheaval, some state governments are contemplating whether they'll keep their policies, especially as some insurers say they’ll stop covering ransomware payments. “We’re wondering as a state, what’s the point of cyber insurance?” one state official said, adding that his state's insurer has quoted premiums this year that are “three to five times” last year’s rates. "If I were an insurer, I have to factor in that we see certain sectors being targeted more often, and right now government is one of those sectors,” said Alla Valente, an analyst at market-research firm Forrester. Benjamin Freed reports.

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'Up to our neck in BRM'

The practice known as business relationship management is serving state IT organizations well, but adopting it often comes with challenges, four state CIOs said during a NASCIO webcast yesterday. Louisiana CIO Dickie Howze pointed to his state’s adoption of BRM back in 2014, when he said he and other state administrators realized “this was going to be one of the most important things we needed to do.” The practice has caught on in other states. “We’re up to our neck here in BRM,” Virginia CIO Nelson Moe said. “At the end of the day, if you’re in the business of adding value — if you’re consolidated or not — you’re going to want to do some version of this thing.” Colin Wood has details.

Pennsylvania settles lawsuit with IBM over scuttled unemployment system

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry announced Tuesday settled a four-year-old lawsuit with IBM over a contract for an unemployment processing system that officials say IBM did not fulfill. The suit was filed in 2017, four years after the expiration of a contract with IBM to design and build a new unemployment claims system, which was running years behind schedule and about $60 million over budget. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but the state eventually went with a different vendor to launch a new cloud-based unemployment system that launched in June. Ben has details.

A researcher, missing money, and the law

In March 2019, a Kuwaiti security researcher named Mohammed Aldoub began a typical day, scouring the internet for security issues from his house, when he came upon a file on VirusTotal that revealed a $9 million hack at one of his country's largest banks. But what Aldoub got was a long legal battle as he was nearly convicted of violating Kuwait's cybercrime laws, reports CyberScoop's Sean Lyngaas, who spent two-plus years following Aldoub. Read the full story.

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