PIA launches cyber risk education resource

Four-step program aims to help insurance agents understand and act on cyber risk

PIA launches cyber risk education resource


By Ryan Smith

The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) and its carrier council, The PIA Partnership, have announced the launch Winning@Cybersecurity Defense, an educational resource aimed at helping insurance agents understand and act on cyber risks.

Cyber risks have increased exponentially in recent years. Cyber perils outrank COVID-19 as the top global business risk for 2022, according to an Allianz survey of CEOs, risk managers, brokers and insurance experts.

“In many respects, cyber attacks are the pandemic of technology,” said Mike Becker, CEO of PIA. “A cyber attack is lethal, destructive and can infect systems that are not protected. They can have devastating long-term effects, especially for small businesses. Ransomware, phishing, and data breaches can cost insurance agencies hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is critical that all business owners realize the magnitude of the threat and take action. That’s why PIA and The PIA Partnership have created Winning@Cybersecurity Defense, a comprehensive program to help independent insurance agents protect themselves and fight back.”

Winning@Cybersecurity Defense is a four-step program created to educate agents and their clients about the most common cyber dangers faced by small and mid-sized businesses, as well as the business practices and insurance coverages that can reduce those risks. It also includes material agents can share with their clients to help them understand their cyber exposure and the benefits of purchasing cyber insurance.

The four parts of the program, which agents can tackle in any order, are:

  • Cyber Risk A to Z, which introduces agents to the most common cyber threats: fraudulent funds transfer, ransomware, social engineering, cyber business interruption, data breach and privacy, network security, and website media liability.
  • Cyber Risk Insurance Protection, which provides information about what insurance covers, how to sell it, what questions to ask customers, and programs to consider.
  • Cyber Risk Assessment, which, in partnership with longtime PIA advocate Thomas H. Wetzel, offers agencies a low-cost cyber risk assessment designed specifically for them.
  • Cyber Resources for Your Agency, which provides a variety of tools and vendors to help agents protect their agencies and customers.

The new Winning@Cybersecurity Defense will replace PIA’s Cyber 101 program, originally launched in 2017.

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