Do your clients know about these emerging cyber trends?

Cyber threats brokers should keep their eyes on

Do your clients know about these emerging cyber trends?


By Gia Snape

No company is immune to cyber risks, from small startups to multinational corporations. As cyber threat vectors constantly shift and evolve, clients and brokers must be aware of the risks to mitigate them.

The upcoming Insurance Business Broker Summit will tackle risk management in the cyber insurance landscape. Specialists will share the latest trends and security strategies to help brokers stay current.

One of the panellists, David Leadbetter (pictured), president and CEO of Avail Group of Companies, spoke to Insurance Business ahead of the summit to share the four threats he believes cyber insurance brokers should be aware of.

“One of the key aspects of our work is risk management,” said Leadbetter. “It’s not just about insurance; it’s about understanding the entire stack of vulnerabilities that businesses face.”

Avail Group of Companies, which provides risk management and consulting in addition to insurance solutions, engages in dark web monitoring and offensive cyber security, helping its team become well-versed in the latest cybercrime tactics.

“We see the trends before they hit the headlines, giving us a strategic advantage,” Leadbetter said.

Cyber threat trends to watch

One notable trend Leadbetter highlighted is the shift in ransomware tactics.

“Gone are the days of mega-ransoms,” he noted. “Cybercriminals are now targeting smaller companies with multiple, smaller demands.”

He elaborated on the rationale behind this strategy: “Smaller ransoms fly under the radar and are more likely to be paid without attracting attention. It’s a lucrative approach for cybercriminals.”

This change in strategy presents unique challenges for businesses, as smaller attacks may fly under the radar of traditional cybersecurity measures.

But who are the primary targets of these attacks? Leadbetter identified two vulnerable groups: municipalities and small businesses.

He explained that municipalities often lag in terms of technological infrastructure and skilled personnel, making them easy targets for cybercriminals.

On the other hand, small businesses may lack the resources or awareness to implement robust cybersecurity measures, leaving them susceptible to attacks.

Building “human firewalls” to combat cyber threats

Leadbetter also shared a sobering statistic: “Most cyberattacks occur on the Friday before a long weekend.”

The reason? Employees are distracted, eager to wrap up work, and start their vacation.

“They want to get stuff off their desks, so they don’t read the full email before they click,” Leadbetter said.

It’s one reason Leadbetter stresses the importance of ongoing training and awareness programs to build what he calls “human firewalls” within organizations.

Whether it’s clicking on phishing emails or neglecting to install software updates, employees can unwittingly open the door to cyber threats.

“The bad guys are trying to outsmart us, and they’re slightly ahead. They’re coming up with new ways of doing it,” he said.

“Training staff to recognize and respond to threats is paramount. Human error is often the weakest link in the security chain.”

In an increasingly digital economy, the stakes are higher than ever, and staying ahead of the curve is imperative for businesses seeking to thrive in an interconnected world. However, this involves more than just obtaining cyber insurance coverage.

Leadbetter emphasized the need for a layered approach, or what he refers to as the “stack”, which encompasses IT management, cybersecurity, and disaster recovery.

“The future belongs to those who prioritize risk management,” said Leadbetter. “It’s not just about protecting data; it’s about safeguarding the future of businesses in an increasingly digital world.”

Want to learn more about the latest cyber trends? Register for the Insurance Business Broker Summit on April 24, 2024 at the Arcardian Toronto.

The highly anticipated summit will gather Canada’s top insurance brokers and experts to tackle a range of key issues impacting today’s insurance landscape.

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