Brokers need to focus message on cyber liability: Marsh CEO

The threat is real and constant, but business isn’t getting the message of the value of cyber liability coverage.

Brokers need to focus message on cyber liability: Marsh CEO

Risk Management News

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The threat is real and constant, but business isn’t getting the message of the value of cyber liability coverage.

“I don’t feel we are crisp enough in the solutions we are bringing, and I worry that we are not listening enough as to what sort of cyber products are needed by our clients,” says Peter Zaffino, president and CEO of Marsh Inc. “It seems that what we’re putting out is not compelling; we need to do more work on the product.”

Speaking at yesterday’s CIP Society Symposium in Toronto, Zaffino touched on a number of products and trends that the industry will face in the coming years – and specifically, the challenges of convincing commercial clients the of the value of cyber liability coverage.

“Cyber risk is a big thing, and there is a tonne of information that companies use globally,” he told the roomful of delegates. “It is only the larger companies that are budgeting for cyber risk; but what isn’t understood is that 70 per cent of all data breaches happen in smaller companies. We have to get out awareness”

As if to underline the breadth of the problem of cyber hacking, the Canada Revenue Agency shut down public access to its website over security concerns posed by a breach to encryption technology pegged ‘Heartbleed,’ which is being felt worldwide.

The CRA said that the temporary cut off to its electronic services was to ensure the protection of taxpayer information, and that it is working to restore safe and secure access. (continued.)
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The security threat, ‘Heartbleed,’ – revealed last week, but apparently undetected for more than two years – affects encryption technology designed to protect online accounts for emails, instant messaging and various forms of electronic commerce. Its reach could expose millions of passwords, credit-card numbers and other sensitive information to theft from hackers, potentially aware of the security breach before it was detected.

Other recent headline-grabbing ‘hacks’ include the email account hacking of Yahoo! In January of this year, and the 70 million Target store customer records that were hacked in December.

“The average cost of cyber-attacks exceeds $5 million annually,” says Zaffino, “with 97 per cent of Fortune 500 companies reporting that they have been hacked, and with 800 million records compromised in 2013.
 

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