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Allianz African Insurers WebinarExper Identify Cyber Risk Trends

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 Amaka Obiefuna

Experts in the Insurance Industry have identified cyber risk trends in a recent Webinar organised by Allianz Nigeria as part of measures to protect the Industry from rising cyber attacks.

The webinar entitled ‘The Ever Increasing Impact of Cyber Attacks: A case for Cyber Insurance,’ featured four experts in an interactive session revealing that 71 per cent of security professionals had reported an increase in security threats or attacks

The experts identified cyber risk trends likely to affect organisations to include Phishing (55%), malicious websites (32%), malware (28%) and ransomware (19%).

They also highlighted the need for organisations to focus not only on cyber security, but more on cyber resilience. “This entails a fusion of information security and business continuity strategies. In other words, cyber resilience is the ability of an organisation to withstand attacks or failures and in such instances re-establish itself quickly back to operational mode,” the experts explained.

To achieve this, a seven fold approach which includes being strategic, building capacity, strengthening the process, automating inform and transform, measure and monitor, cyber insurance and collaboration were recommended.

The speakers advised that in this era of unprecedented security risks, companies should determine more pragmatically how they intend to curb these risks and build capacity termed ‘human firewall.’

It was also pointed out that organisations should create awareness internally, train and educate staff members as a way to minimise the ability of intruders to compromise their information security. They are also to strengthen their cyber security across all levels from layer of access down to the seemingly unnecessary layer should be tightened to discourage attackers.

The speakers also advised companies to conduct regular analysis so as to determine the level of exposure and strength while noting that cyber-attacks as it stands is dynamic and companies stand a risk of being vulnerable either accidentally or deliberately through its people, processes or the type of technology adopted.

Drumming the need for protection, the Senior Cyber and Liability Underwriter at Allianz Global & Corporate Specialty, South Africa, Santho Mohapeloa, emphasised the need for insurance and the importance of complying with Cyber Best Practices in preventing and mitigating losses.

He explained the nature of cyber insurance coverage provided by Allianz for Africa under the headings: First party (claims made by the insured), Third party cover (claims against the insured by a third party) and enforcement body cover (claims against the insured by a regulatory body).

In a related development, Khalid Momodu, a top executive of Swiss Re, said cyber risk is a real growing threat to over 22 billion connected devices worldwide, especially when internet penetration is considered. He said Nigeria is at risk because it probably has the highest smartphone use in the whole of Africa, pointing out that if the Africa trend pushes up, Nigeria would be one of the first to experience it.

He also noted that one of the major things to know about cyber risk is the potential to cause substantial damage.

According to him, the global estimation in 2018 revealed the total cost of cyber attacks was about a trillion dollars. He disclosed that within the COVID-19 period, in about four months, the incidence of cyber attacks had increased by over 300 per cent and that 43 per cent of that was targeted at small businesses which do not have the resources for protection.

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