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A look at cyber insurance

Published on 14 January 2021

Welcome to Insurance Covered! The podcast that looks at the inner workings of the insurance industry with the help of expert guests. This episode we are joined by Dania Rifaat, Speciality Claims Manager at Hiscox, and we will be looking at cyber insurance.

Dania starts by explaining what cyber insurance is intended to cover. She explains it is used to cover businesses and individuals from their exposure to cyber incidents and data incidents, like data or ransomware attacks. Dania goes on to give the following example: "you come into work and find that all of your systems have been encrypted by cybercriminals and you can't access any of your data and, and you've received a ransom demand saying that unless you pay X you're going to lose all that data permanently". This is the kind of attack businesses ae seeing more frequently so are therefore keen to have an insurance policy covering the loss of crucial data.

Other things that cyber policies are there to cover are sophisticated scams like phishing attempts, were hackers will send an email purporting to be from kind of a trusted organisation and they are basically phishing for credentials because they want you to give them your username and password that they will use to steal valuable data.

Dania goes on to explain speed is essential when you have suffered a cyber breach. "Cyber insurance comes into its own because, you have regulatory obligations that kick in, you've got 72 hours to notify the ICO when you become aware of the breach, so if you picture the scenario where you realise something has gone wrong, you know, where do you start if you don't have access to experts." A key part of cyber policies is having access to experts to help quickly regain control and limit the damage of cyber breaches. Dania explains that with Hiscox we have a 24/7 hotline that you can call in the event of an incident, that will take you through to our cyber forensics experts and we will very quickly pull a team together which will be there to help guide the insured.

We finish off by looking at the impact lockdown and the pandemic has had on cyber claims. Dania explains that they saw claims volumes in cyber go up by about 40% during the first six months of lockdown and more claims with a Covid focus. Criminals have been fast to think about ways that they can exploit things like HMRC emails about furlough, trying to get information from people phishing in that way. Criminals are finding ways to exploit vulnerabilities that arise from an increase in the number of people working from home.

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