The growing momentum of cyber attacks and the pace of notoriety it is taken in Africa has made Allianz Nigeria to take steps to present the big picture of the situation and protect the insurance industry from rising cyber attacks.
In line with this, the company recently helped businesses mitigate cyber attacks and featured four industry experts in an interactive webinar titled: ‘The Ever Increasing Impact of Cyber Attacks: A case for Cyber Insurance.’
During the online forum, it was learnt 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 per cent, 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 instance re-establish itself quickly back to operational mode.
To achieve this, a seven fold approach which includes being strategic, building capacity, strengthening the process, automate inform and transform, measure and monitor, cyber insurance and collaboration were recommended.
Speakers at the session noted that in an era of unprecedented security risks, companies should determine more pragmatically how they intend to curb these risks and build capacity termed as “human fire wall”.
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.
Organisations were also advised to conduct regular analysis so as to determine the level of exposure and strength. The speakers noted 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.
The Senior Cyber and Liability Underwriter at Allianz Global & Corporate Specialty, South Africa, Santho Mohapeloa, while drumming up protection emphasised the need for insurance and the importance of complying with Cyber Best Practices in preventing and mitigating losses.
Santho, explained that the nature of cyber insurance coverage provided by Allianz for Africa under the headings: First party (i.e. 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 risks is a real growing threat to over 22 billion connected devices world wide, especially when internet penetration is considered. He said Nigeria is at risk because it probably has the highest smart phone use in the whole of Africa. Noting that if the Africa trend pushes up, Nigeria would be one of the first to experience it.
Momodu said world wide, it was estimated that for 2018, the total cost of cyber attacks was about a trillion dollars. He disclosed that within the Covid-19 period, about four months, the incidence of cyber attacks has increased by over 300% and, 43% of that was targeted at small businesses which don’t have the resources to protect themselves.
He also noted that one of the major things to know about cyber risk is the potential to cause substantial amount of damage.