Cyber Risks: Evolving Threats, Emerging Coverages, and Ensuing Case Law

I am pleased to share this article published in the Penn State Law Review and co-authored with my Mendes & Mount colleagues: Lauren B. Prunty, Gregory S. Mantych, and David J. Hommel


Social media, electronic communication, mobile devices, the sharing economy, voice-activated smart home assistants, biometric authentication, unmanned aerial and autonomous vehicles, digital health monitors, not to mention the promise of artificial intelligence to enhance all of these, are but a sample of the trends and innovations that have transformed and now define much of human endeavor and industry. The collection, manipulation, and management of the data generated from these activities are at the core of their applications and systems. Securing and protecting that data is a fundamental undertaking for enterprises and institutions on a global scale. The associated risks and exposures have progressed from concerns over personal privacy and the confidentiality of corporate assets, to threats of widespread organizational interference and operational disruptions, including direct monetary hits involving the illegitimate transfer of funds, and ultimately, to the potential for actual physical harm, injury, or loss. Should or can these emerging risks be subject to the norms and practices customarily employed to address concerns of a brick-and-mortar world? Has the landscape changed so profoundly that entirely new approaches are required? In the discussion to follow, we seek to put some context around how the insurance industry, one segment of the financial services sector, has been responding to advances related to information-sharing and technology products and services. The discussion necessarily involves how the insurers’ clients, the policyholders, seek to allay liabilities and recover losses related to these evolving threats. Not surprisingly, given little precedent regarding how best to resolve liabilities and losses involving untraditional scenarios or untested terminology, some of these disputes are only just beginning to make their way to the courts and, from this relatively modest sample of decisions, certain themes appear to be developing, which hopefully provide some clarity and focus for the benefit of all affected participants.

For a complete copy of the article and the current issue of the journal, please go to: