Global body reveals insurers’ cyber risk awareness initiatives

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“We initially completed our research in January 2020 but, before we could publish the report, the global COVID-19 pandemic struck,” the GFIA said in its report. “Recognising that the pandemic and the ‘work from home’ environment would have significant implications for cybersecurity and cyber underwriting, we decided to delay publication so that we could conduct additional inquiries into how the insurance industry has adjusted its awareness campaigns.”

Included in the report are initiatives from the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the Dutch Association of Insurers, the General Insurance Association of Japan, the General Insurance Association of Korea, the Insurance Council of New Zealand, Insurance Europe, and the Portuguese Association of Insurers.

According to GFIA, many of the initiatives share common characteristics, including a focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and a recognition of the importance of reaching out to brokers.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada, for instance, commissioned a poll to examine how members of Canada’s SME community felt about cyber risk as a growing threat to gauge their cyber readiness, awareness, and interest in risk management.

Similarly, the Insurance Council of New Zealand held seminars for SMEs and brokers, and provided material in order to further disseminate information about cyber risks and cyber insurance cover.

“Because they are smaller, SMEs often lack in-house cyber expertise, which leaves them without a full understanding of cyber risks and, therefore, particularly vulnerable,” said GFIA. “[Meanwhile], several associations [also] noted the importance of their outreach to brokers, which are an important link in reaching SMEs.”

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