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Cyber insurance important to guarantee resilience - Darlington Munhuwani

Cybersecurity Threat Recognise South Africa Cyber insurance would play a critical role in ensuring resilience with the advent of the new normal

Mon, 10 May 2021 Source: thebftonline.com

The Chief Executive Officer of Allianz Insurance, Darlington Munhuwani, has urged businesses to give more attention to cyber insurance as it would play a critical role in ensuring resilience with the advent of the new normal.

Mr. Munhuwani, in an interview with the B&FT, said buying cyber insurance amounts to cyber-attack risk sharing which is very important in the current times. He is of the view that more corporate organizations would be attracted to cyber insurance going into the future as work schedules are exposing systems to more cyber risks.

For him, the systems that an organization can put in place to avert an attack can only be of a certain high level but security hackers – who explore methods for breaching defenses and exploiting weaknesses in a computer system or networks – are also almost always a step ahead of the pack and therefore a certain level of liability needs to be shared to help absorb a shock in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

“People are still very dependent on the controls and the security checks that are inbuilt into their systems whiles also looking up to their IT departments to deal with any such threats. But cyber-attack is a manmade risk which evolves every second so even though you might have the strongest firewalls, hackers are determined to get in and you never know when they will succeed.”

He further noted that the advent of ‘working from home’ has exposed computer systems to the home environment increasing their risk, stressing that no risk management technique can be said to be full-proof therefore the need for cyber insurance is critical.

“We think that because there has not been a massive attack, widely published for people to know the effect some are a bit reluctant but companies need to prepare for any unforeseen circumstances in the cyber space.”

NIC

His comment comes at a time the National Insurance Commission (NIC) has begun licensing insurance firms to sell cyber insurance to corporate organizations as the advent of the new normal has increased working from home activities, exposing systems to the ever-evolving cyber-attacks.

The move by the NIC is part of measures to ensure corporate resilience as the damage a cyber-attack can cause could be dire for some enterprises if they have to depend on their inflows to remedy the effects of an attack.In the view of the NIC, some liability sharing in times of an unforeseen cyber-attack can go a long way to provide respite for corporate organizations.

Global insurance data has shown that, with the advent of COVID-19, the uptake of cyber insurance is on the rise in Europe, USA and some advanced countries but it is yet to pick up in Africa. For Ghana, sensitization on the need for cyber insurance has just begun.

Who qualifies?

There should be a certain high-level existing cybersecurity firewall before an organization can buy cyber insurance. “Upgrade of servers, the originality of software among other things including IT certification levels must be checked before an insurance company would want to underwrite a risk. An insurance company would not want to insure a disaster in waiting,” the Head of Bancassurance and Projects at Allianz Insurance, Naa Adjeley Hylton-Dei said in an interview with the paper.

Source: thebftonline.com
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