Richard Carman 16/06/2017

Email attachments – the looming cyber risk threatening the insurance industry

We live in dangerous ‘cyber’ times for insurers, brokers and customers. As prolific senders and receivers of email attachments the insurance industry poses a high risk to itself and the customers it seeks to protect.

Cyber is one of the biggest risks (and opportunities) facing the insurance industry. Provision of insurance requires information, documentation and money, all of which are attractive ingredients for cyber criminals. Huge volumes of email attachments are sent daily; typically from insurers to brokers and then on to their customers.

In fact, the insurance industry is culturally dependent on email attachments – while at the same time the frequency of email-borne cyber attacks are increasing. This unhealthy dependency needs to be given urgent board level attention.

Due to the scale of this cyber threat, BIBA now focuses on cyber risks in its manifesto and as a core membership issue. BIBA Chief Executive Steve White believes IT security issues must be addressed by boards and not simply handled by those with technology awareness:

“We all need to develop a better understanding of cyber risks and, for brokers, that means being able to advise on the cyber insurance market. At BIBA we want to help our members and their customers understand how the risk of cyber-security breaches can be reduced.”

Managing cyber threats is a broad topic so this white paper, ‘Stop sending, start sharing’, looks specifically at the risk profile of email attachments within the insurance sector. We have also tried to use non-technical language as we believe that cyber is a whole business issue, not just an IT one.

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Stop sending - start sharing
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