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Cyber Risks & Cyber Attacks

29th May 2019
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Article by

Saw Seng Cheng
Head, Risk Advisory
Tan Insurance Brokers Pte Ltd

Cyber-attacks are real and they are happening globally. They have the potential to cause massive business disruption, wreak tangible property damage, disrupt supply chains and even lead to injury or death. It is therefore extremely important that we are well protected from cyber risks.

The Internet Of Things

The usage of internet has entered everyone’s everyday lives around the world and transformed business models across industries. It will completely change the world in the future, and networked devices will be a main component of that change. In 2010, people owned 12.5 billion networked devices; it is estimated that by 2025 that number will have increased to more than 50 billion¹.

In Singapore, about 84% of the population are now internet users, 2% higher than the level in January 2017². It can be seen that the users are increasing every year.

Is Your Business At Risk?

Internet and Information Technology have become a part of our everyday lives including businesses and thus, everyone is prone to cyber-attacks.

If small and medium sized business owners (hereinafter SMEs) feel that they do not have to stress over cyber-attacks, they better think twice. No business is resistant to a cyber-attack or data breach threat, as there are shockingly high numbers of small enterprises affected by cyber-attacks. In fact, they are the prime targets as hackers know that most of them are ignorant and they are easy targets due to lack of cyber security.

The majority of the cyber-attacks appears in three forms – by means of phishing, as ransomware, and website attacks.

Protective Measures

In addition to installing cyber security software, SMEs should also consider Cyber Insurance Policies to mitigate risk exposures. The policies will assist policy holders for prediction, prevention, and assistance when attacks happen.

This class of insurance protects SMEs against liabilities arising from data protection laws, management of personal data and the consequences of losing information. For individuals, this includes credit card numbers, medical records, birth dates, passport numbers and other private personal information which can be stolen and used inappropriately.

The direct first party losses such as recovering lost or destroyed data, notification, monitoring and forensic investigation expenses, lost income, and public relation expenses are also covered.

An article prepared by Mr Sebastian Phua of Delta Insurance Singapore discussing the insurance coverage of Cyber Security & Data Protection insurance will be published in June 2019.

When An Attack Occurs…..

Insurers would usually appoint a Loss Adjuster to handle the claim/matter. In association with their specialist panel vendors, Loss Adjusters are able to assist SMEs to tackle and manage the cyber-attacks.

Loss Adjusters, through countless experiences in handling major or complex loss, are key to ensuring the best possible outcomes are achieved. Significant complexities can be involved with even relatively minor cyber-attacks.

A more in depth understanding of what to do when a cyber-attack happens will be shared in another article prepared by Mr Gareth Cottam of Crawford Cyber Solution by Crawford Global Technical Services® in July 2019.

The cost to handle cyber-attack can be very costly and thus, it is important to ensure adequate Sum Insured is maintained. In the event that the cost exceeds the Sum Insured, the policy holders would have to fork out the money for the remaining cost.

¹ https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/digital-ecosystems-for-insurers-opportunities-through-the-internet-of-things
² https://sbr.com.sg/information-technology/news/483-million-singaporeans-are-now-online

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