Stakeholders in the insurance industry and Information Technology (IT) have stressed the need for organisations to take preventive measures against the risks posed by cyber-attacks and fraud to safeguard businesses during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was the focus at a webinar meeting, where global industry thought leaders and subject matter experts x-rayed the rising cyber-risks in local and international businesses, as well as the various ways to mitigate the threats and attacks. The meeting was championed by Leadway Assurance Company Limited.
Speaking, Partner, Technology Advisory Services, KPMG Nigeria, John Anyanwu, said: “Since the start of the pandemic, there has been increased dependency on the internet and mobile apps, as well as digital channels. This has brought about a noticeable increase in cyber-attacks globally, and it has posed potential risks to businesses operations globally.”
Anyanwu explained that every organisation needs to implement prevention, detection, and responsive measures against cyber-attacks and fraud, noting that if organisations implemented the right security measures, they would function with confidence regardless of the times.
Information Technology Security expert, Africa and the Middle East, Munich Re, Tariq Fadai, who gave new insight into how attackers operate, recommended defence mechanisms organisations can adopt, noting that those with poor security need to change, as the pandemic demands the deployment of remote-work conditions and routines. As a result, systems have moved to cloud services with an increasing reliance on third party services.
“There is a risk of unavailability of services due to overcrowding, and several organisations might experience data loss as well. Every business owner should understand and make good use of important cyber-attack controls,” he added.
Head, Cyber Risks and Technical lines, Chubb Eurasia and Africa, Gilbert Flepp, stressed the need for firms to institute maintenance of cyber-security protocol, endpoint detection and response tactics like implementing robust anti-Malware control, and learning how to administer a disaster recovery plan.
Executive Director, General Insurance, Leadway Assurance Company Limited, Adetola Adegbayi, urged organisations to prioritise cyber-risk insurance as part of their risk mitigation system against cyber-attacks, especially when business operations are delicately hinged on remote accesses.
“The shrewdness of the company’s management over the years has informed several innovations that would soothe any impending crisis in businesses and individual lives. Cyber-risk insurance policies have been robustly reengineered for organizations and individuals in the face of rising cyberattacks and fraud on businesses,” she said.
Adegbayi revealed that the Leadway cyber-risks insurance policy is now optimised to provide first-party coverage and third-party liability risks for organisations, while the individual policy coverage would soon be introduced into the market once approved by the National Insurance Commission.
Similarly, the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, expressed concerns over the recent increase in daring cyber-attacks on businesses and individuals. “Never before have cyber threats been the way they are today. As the world is recovering, cyber-criminals are taking advantage of the pandemic to mask their activities. It is important that we learn how to keep information safe, how to back up, how to secure email getaway regularly and to make sure everyone is vigilant, web-responsible, and aware of emerging threats and use technology to prevent them from causing havoc,” he noted.