Munich Re on cyber insurance: risks and trends 2021

The developments of 2020, with all of its drastic effects, were anything but predictable, according to the results of Munich Re’s 1st Global Cyber Risks and Insurance Survey.

The results of the survey clearly underline the risks and opportunities when it comes to digitisation and the top-ranking technologies – with 5G, cloud computing and artificial intelligence leading the respondent´s lists, according to Martin Kreuzer, risk manager for Cyber Risks at Munich Re.

Even though everyone believes in digitisation, 81% of C-level respondents think their company is not adequately protected against cyberthreats, according to the survey. Among these cybersecurity threats, fraud, data breaches and ransomware attacks are the three most-feared phenomenon by respective C-level.

And while 35% of C-level respondents are considering taking out cyber insurance, only 34% of these respondents have been in contact with their insurance carrier; 17% of them still do not even have an overview of the products and services available on the market.

Accordingly, it remains a task for the insurance industry to provide transparency on coverage and accompanying service offerings.

Covid-19 is accelerating digital transformation. In this context, it is important to acknowledge that the threats and vulnerabilities are not entirely new, the survey suggests.

Some of them were there all along and were being exploited long before the pandemic occurred. For example, a Google survey found that 65% of people reuse passwords across multiple or all accounts.

Another statistic revealed that 18% of all Windows PCs still use the outdated Windows 7 operating system. That means that in Germany alone, about 4 million devices may not be supported anymore. According to data from Munich Re, these given examples of inadequate cyber security can already lead to significant cyber incidents.

Covid-19 and the necessity to digitise business operations and processes brought on a dramatic acceleration of criticality and attack surfaces. Besides, it mercilessly showed the bandwidth of threats and how these may be exploited.

Munich Re observes that remote work still leaves organisations unprepared to monitor or identify threats and vulnerabilities – with unauthorised remote access, weak passwords, unsecured networks, and the misuse of personal devices to name just a few.

Likewise, more successful attacks on virtual private networks (VPNs), that are used by more than 400 million businesses and consumers across the globe, can be expected. A further spike of insider threats, with attackers increasingly offering employees with privileged access financial incentives to share or “accidentally” leak their credentials is also anticipated.

This is an abridged version of the full article from Munich Re, here published with permission. To access the full article, click here.

Another statistic revealed that 18% of all Windows PCs still use the outdated Windows 7 operating system. That means that in Germany alone, about 4 million devices may not be supported anymore. According to data from Munich Re, these given examples of inadequate cyber security can already lead to significant cyber incidents.

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