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Aon Buys Cytelligence for Incident Response, Digital Forensics Expertise


Aon, which sells risk management solutions, cyber insurance and outsourcing services, has bought Cytelligence, a Canadian-based cybersecurity provider, to flesh out its Cyber Solutions unit, the company said. Financial terms were not disclosed.

This is M&A deal Number 98 that ChannelE2E and MSSP Alert have covered so far in 2020. See the complete M&A deal list here.

Cytelligence, an incident response and digital forensics specialist, will help Aon expand its current coverage in the cybersecurity market in offerings, reach and targeted customers, officials said. The company also sells security consulting services and cyber security training for employees to help organizations respond to cyber security threats and strengthen their security position. The two outfits had previously collaborated on an incident response engagement, officials said.

Aon Acquires Cytelligence: Deal Details

Daniel Tobok, Cytelligence chief executive, will head Aon’s cyber solutions group, joined by the company's roster of employees, who will be based out of offices in Toronto, Ottawa, New York, San Francisco and Miami.

"As the number of network intrusions, data breaches, ransomware attacks, and similar threats continues to increase in both frequency and severity, expertise in cyber incident response becomes critical to organizations and insurance companies," Jason Hogg, CEO of Aon's Cyber Solutions, said. "The Cytelligence team are deep experts in cyber incident response, ransomware mitigation, and cyber security training for employees, which will help cement our position in both North America and globally as an industry leader."

The Cytelligence purchase comes three years after Aon bought Stroz Friedberg, a risk management firm. Aon said it will continue to expand its cyber wing.

"Together, we will deliver complete proactive solutions from risk assessment, cyber risk policy underwriting to secure insurance coverage to protect critical assets, to cyber breach response, effective and efficient cyber incident remediation, meticulous data collection and data preservation," Tobok said.

A number of cities have upped their cyber insurance coverage in the wake of ransomware attacks. For example, New Orleans plans to raise its cyber insurance coverage from $3 million to $10 million in 2020, following a ransomware attack last December that crippled its government systems. And, last October, Baltimore officials approved the city’s purchase of $20 million in cyber liability coverage after cyber criminals launched a ransomware attack against the city.

Overall, cyber insurance rates have jumped about 25 percent over the past year due in part to costly ransomware claims. With global cyber insurance premiums poised to reach $20 billion by 2025 and many organizations identifying cyber attacks as a foremost risk, Aon’s move to expand its deliverables appears well timed. In making its case for a stronger foothold in the cybersecurity market, Aon pointed to Cybersecurity Ventures's 2020 Annual Cybercrime Report that projected the cost of security breaches to double to $6 trillion globally by 2021 and its own 2019 Global Risk Management Survey, which predicted cyber attacks will be among the three risks organizations face in 2022.

Along those lines, a new wave of cyber insurance options are emerging for MSPs and small business customers. For example:

  • Evergreen Services Group has launched a cyber insurance service for managed services providers (MSPs) and their customers. The service allows companies to access cyber insurance coverage from MSPs and guard against cyber attacks and data breaches.
  • Cowbell Cyber, a startup focused on Artificial Intelligence-powered cyber insurance for SMBs, has launched the Cowbell Prime 100. It’s designed for insurance agents to issue personalized cyber policies with limits up to $5 million.
D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.