Claims Club Asia: Cyber risks on the agenda

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At the final Claims Club Asia of 2015 in Hong Kong, an audience of claims professionals heard from experts on cyber risks.

Todd Stewart, executive director, EY said the world cybersecurity market could be worth as much as $170bn by 2020 with cyber attacks already costing businesses between $400bn and $500bn a year; this is just the reported instances as GM Consultant Asia managing director Timothee Grange noted only certain countries such as the US ask their companies to publicy report such attacks.

Stewart warned of the following threats to businesses: advanced persistent threats - complex and co-ordinated attacks that can take years to organise; spear phishing - social engineering techniques to act as a trusted party; zero-day exploit - exploiting unknown vulnerabilities in software; denial of service attack - an assualt on a system by flooding it with a barrage of requests; and ransomware - when a ransom is called for to remove malware.

Grange said "hacking as a service" is on the rise - where full time hackers available for hire and of hotel wifi being compromised by hackers emulating high end hotels' wifi login domains; he warned the audience to encrypt data and to not spend too much time on hotel wifi if possible.

All of these risks are often complicated by a lack of skilled in-house staff, years of M&A activity, regulatory pressures (differing from country to country) and third parties.

Stewart suggested a range of techniques to counteract the threat including adopting security analytics; increased centralisation of security governance; training and growing awareness; and embedding cyber as a core design principle in digital inititiaves.

He added: companies should consider implementing security transformation; cyber threat management; identity and access management; and data protection.

Speaking on a panel discussion chaired by RPC's legal director Geraldine Bourke, Cynthia Sze, head of financial lines AIG in Hong Kong, said the insurer was on average seeing two and half reported cases everyday. She warned there is sometimes a tension between when an attack was originally initiated (sometimes years before) and what a cyber policy covers meaning cover is still developing and the industry is still learning.

On the same panel Fiona Stewart, Asia head of specialty claims at Aon, commented: "The awareness of cyber is increasing but responses are just emerging with 87% of businesses not using cyber insurance."

Claims Club Asia: The final Claims Club Asia of 2015 was held in Hong Kong on 18 November. Thank you for all your support in 2015. We look forward to bringing you seven events across Asia-Pacific next year. For more details see www.claimsclubasia.com.

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