Insurers Told to Ramp Up Cyber Security Efforts

A leading Cyber Security expert has said the insurance sector needs to ensure its clients are aware if the huge increase in cyber attacks sparked by the Covid pandemic.

Chris Ross, SVP, at security and data protection solutions firm Barracuda Networks, warned the market needs to recognise the threat to their policyholders and work with them to increase security measures to better enable any attack to be mitigated.

His comments come after Lloyd’s Chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown gave a media interview in which he said the threat of a state sponsored cyber attack was such that there needed to be a government backed solution from the insurance sector to be ready to meet the scale of the claims that would inevitably arise.

“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen an exponential rise in cyber attacks facing organisations, individuals and key workers – in fact, Barracuda researchers recently observed a 667 per cent spike in spear phishing attacks from February to March as a result of coronavirus,” explained Mr Ross. “Increasingly, we are seeing email phishing campaigns target and exploit members of the public by capitalising on their fear and insecurities related to the deadly coronavirus; the vast influx of remote workers has also increased the windows of opportunity for cyber criminals to capitalise on. Therefore, it is not a surprise that the insurance sector anticipates being overwhelmed, and unless this issue is addressed, they risk being overwhelmed sooner than we may think.”

“Moving forward, key decision makers in organisations must implement comprehensive security software and procedures, to combat the increase in attacks facing businesses,” he added. “Similarly, the public and remote and key workers must ensure that they are aware of the threats that face them when browsing online, using emails, or operating their organisations’ IT servers. Furthermore, understanding security best-practice measures and adhering to them always is essential in preventing a severe data breach, and combatting the growing cyber threat-scape facing the nation.”

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