Brokers: help your clients avoid being a “cyber ostrich”

Brokers: help your clients avoid being a “cyber ostrich” | Insurance Business Canada

Brokers: help your clients avoid being a “cyber ostrich”
Brokers have a key role to play in ensuring their clients do not bury their heads in the sand when it comes to cyber risk, an expert has said.

A recent report from Allianz Worldwide Partners found that cyberattacks had increased by 300% over the last year but the number of firms testing and regularly reviewing their IT systems had dropped from 73% in 2015 to 57% in 2016.

Dougal Hawkes, founder and CEO of cyber risk assessment firm Augmentor said that there could be an element of complacency on behalf of SME clients as smaller businesses think only larger firms are targets and neglect to keep up to date with their cyber security and insurance measures. Hawkes said that small businesses could fall into the trap of “cyber ostrich syndrome” without the right education and awareness
“The unfortunate reality is, because the cyber space is moving so quickly, what you put in place a year or six months ago may not be relevant today,” Hawkes told Insurance Business.

Hawkes stressed that brokers should look to keep their clients informed on the importance of cyber risk, even if it is becoming common knowledge within the insurance industry.

“It is almost like the boy who cried wolf, but in this case it is the boy who cried cyber,” Hawkes continued. “It has been around, everyone has been talking about it and I think that has led to an element of cyber fatigue.”

With mandatory breach notification coming into action in February, Hawkes noted that both brokers and their clients can ill afford to ignore their cyber risks.

“Brokers are aware of what is coming; it is more awareness for the end user,” Hawkes said. “There is still a lack of awareness within the marketplace on what it means for the end user client.”

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