Symantec stresses necessity of cyber insurance for Singapore firms

Companies in the country deal with an average of 3.6 cyber attacks, making cyber insurance vital for almost all businesses

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

With today’s society becoming increasingly reliant on digital technology, cyber threats have become more advanced and more sophisticated. For businesses, being hit by a cyber attack is no longer a matter of if, but now a matter of when. As such, cyber insurance is now becoming more of a necessity.
Peter Sparkes, senior director for cyber security services at Symantec, cited the security firm’s research, which shows than over half a billion personal records worldwide have been stolen or deleted due to cyber breaches.
With Singapore being a global financial hub, firms in the country face a large number of security risks, with each organization suffering from 3.6 attacks on average. In the fact, Singapore, followed by Japan, is the top target of pear-phishing/targeted attacks in Asia-Pacific.
Even if cyber insurance is still in its nascent stages, said Sparkes, it is now becoming an integral element for businesses. While cyber insurance itself is not a defense against cyber attacks, it adds an extra layer of security and mitigates risks by complementing IT security efforts.
Sparkes offered several pointers businesses must know with regards to cyber insurance:
  • Cyber insurance is not a static program
Technology is evolving at a very fast rate, and cyber insurance is becoming increasingly complex as it tries to keep up. What is considered as core coverage today may not have been available even as recent as three years ago.
  • Insurance brokers are more than just a sales contact
Analyzing cyber risks and risk mitigation isn’t the strong suit of most companies. But unlike other sectors of the insurance industry, a broker represents the interests of companies and
effectively assess buyers’ unique cyber risks. Working with an insurance broker will help companies to understand the assets at risk and how to best address them.
  • Incident responses can minimize potential damage
Incident response is a critical part of every cyber insurance claim, and is necessary for every major breach. A well-organized incident response program ensures an organized and live response to minimize potential data and monetary losses.
  • Crisis communications in a data breach event
In case of a cyber breach, companies must communicate to their audiences and stakeholders. Cybersecurity and breach response is littered with legal and regulatory landmines that may result in lawsuits if the company is not careful. Many cyber insurance policies include the services of a crisis communications professional to create a crisis communications plan to avoid panicking and bringing up additional liabilities.

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