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Discovery Business Insurance innovates to address the growing threat posed by Cyber Crime

26 October 2021 Discovery

As the world recognises October as Cyber Security Awareness month Discovery Business Insurance is highlighting the critical need for businesses to ensure that they are appropriately covered to mitigate against the risk of cyber crime, which has become one of the biggest risks facing businesses today.

Now in its 18th year, Cyber Security Awareness Month, which was launched in 2004 by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), continues to gather momentum across the globe.

It is helping to raise awareness around the rapidly evolving threat posed by cybercrime to individuals, businesses, the government and to the economy and of the critical need to adequately protect against it.

Cybercrime has, for the last decade, been considered that fastest growing criminal industry globally. Now, as governments, businesses and individuals across the world have been forced to adapt in response to the unprecedented health risks posed by the Coronavirus outbreak, humanity’s progress along the curve of technological adoption has been dramatically accelerated. The increased adoption of technology also increases the risk of cybercrime.

A global shift to a ‘new, digitised, normal’

During 2020 and 2021, attitudes towards working from home have permanently shifted the world over. The “work-from-anywhere” revolution is well underway and with-it businesses have had to rethink what it means to be cyber secure.

“IT systems are no longer isolated to the office which has multiplied the number of remote networks requiring intensified protection. As the space between our online and offline lives becomes barely distinguishable the home office has become very much part of many organisations - and it's a vulnerable space,” says Discovery Business Insurance Chief Operating Officer, Lana Ross.

Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization, for example, has warned that cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated as criminals exploit the change and uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“With organizations and businesses rapidly deploying remote systems and networks to support staff working from home, criminals are also taking advantage of increased security vulnerabilities to steal data, generate profits and cause disruption,” it warns.

The threat at home.

“In the increasingly interconnected globalised era, South Africa is by no means immune to this threat. Already by the beginning of the decade, the country had become one of the most targeted in the world for internet fraud and phishing attacks, which have become highly localised, geo-targeted, and more personalised,” adds Ross.

By 2021 South Africa experienced an alarming increase in ransomware attacks, which represented a staggering 62% of all cybercrimes in 2021 while the number of self-reported security breaches experienced by both businesses and state departments spiked.

Malware attacks, encrypted threats, intrusion attempts, crypto-jacking attacks, ransomware attacks, and IoT attacks are modern realities that businesses face every day, particularly in a work-from-home environment.

“Aside from financial losses, such forms of cyber-attacks can lead to reputational damages and legal liabilities as well. Consumer data, when compromised, can subject businesses to sanction under regulations such as POPIA, and can result in costly settlements,” she adds.

The right cover

“Half of cyber-attacks target small businesses that usually don’t have sufficient cybersecurity measures to protect themselves from such threats,” says Charl Ueckermann, CEO at AVeS Cyber Security, Discovery Business Insurance’s cyber security partners.
Clearly, cyber insurance is no longer a nice to have but an essential element of comprehensive insurance for any business.

However, it needs to be noted that the risk exposures and related solutions, protections and products are continuously evolving. Knowledge of the insurance products available in the market can be confusing and it’s important to engage with specialists to get the correct and most appropriate advice.

To help businesses navigate this and other emerging risks, Discovery Business Insurance has expanded its offering to provide cover for all major insurable risks, including traditional commercial risks as well as risks unique to the 21st century, such as cyber risk.

Discovery Business Insurance has also partnered with specialist companies to ensure that it is able to assess the unique risks that each of its clients face.

When it comes to cyber insurance, Discovery Business Insurance has partnered with AVeS Cyber Security to bring you the most pertinent and knowledgeable base of security specialists to ensure comprehensive, tailored protection against cyber risk.

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