Insure against cyber risk: Only with AIG

With nearly every business dependent on information systems and the internet, the exposures associated with cyber crime present a clear and present danger.

November 23, 2012

With nearly every business dependent on information systems and the internet, the exposures associated with cyber crime present a clear and present danger. Until now, company directors largely had to mitigate that risk by depending on the IT department; that’s changed as AIG introduces its CyberEdge solution. Designed to protect against the full potential impact of a cyber breach, the solution covers financial, legal, investigative and reputation exposures from a single premium.

Uniquely, CyberEdge draws together subject matter experts including law firm Norton Rose, forensic investigations company Cyanre, and public relations practitioners LiveWired. This provides complete risk mitigation for the hazards associated with information crimes.

Quinton Kotze, Financial Lines Manager at AIG South Africa, says the time is right for the solution. “The internet is a fundamental service for business today, as essential to many companies as electricity. However, dependence on information technology also presents unique and potentially devastating risks: compromises to information security can and do cost money, impact on market standing and affect company performance.”

A compromise can also result in a domino effect, and include impaired operations, regulatory fines, brand damage, director liability, loss of confidence and ultimately loss of business.

Such consequences are undoubtedly boardroom issues, continues Kotze. “Directors have long appreciated the necessity to insure the companies under their stewardship against operational, credit and business risks. Cyber crime is another clear and present danger, with specific implications, all of which are covered by CyberEdge.”

A recent risk assessment published by the World Economic Forum ranks cyber attacks higher than nearly every other type of threat; Kotze adds.

Simplifying cyber threat
AIG’s CyberEdge breaks down a complex set of risks into clear and understandable categories. It covers a range of cyber threats faced by any organisation dealing with electronic information, from data liability to network interruption and cyber extortion. “CyberEdge anticipates the domino effect and provides the insurance and specialist advice, minimising lasting damage,” says Kotze.

Rohan Isaacs, director at Norton Rose South Africa, notes that the consequences of breaches of privacy or leaks of personal information are regulated by law; in the event of a compromise, his firm provides the necessary guidance to AIG CyberEdge policyholders. “Where a loss of private information or personal data has occurred, parties need to know what potential liabilities they may face,” he says.

Isaacs adds that privacy and data protection are issues of growing importance worldwide, given the ease with which data can be electronically stored, retrieved and transmitted. “Loss of private data exposes offenders to civil liability and public relations crises. In countries which have data protection specific laws, statutory penalties may also apply. South Africa does not presently have a data protection-specific law but there have been recent indications that the Protection of Personal Information Bill which will govern data protection will become law early next year. The timing of the launch of the CyberEdge product in South Africa is therefore particularly opportune.”

In addition, Cyanre provides policyholders with digital forensic investigations, IT risk management, data recovery and electronic discovery, while public relations practice LiveWired manages external relations. Says Cyanre managing director Danny Myburgh: “In the event of a breach, it is imperative that remedial action is taken, including identifying culprits and bringing them to book, recovering information and ensuring prevention of similar future attacks.”

Mike Durek, AIG South Africa CEO, says the introduction of the CyberEdge solution is a further step in AIG’s growth strategy. “This solution demonstrates the innovation and collaboration which is necessary to identify, understand, quantify and mitigate the complex risks associated with modern business. Certainly, it’s a solution we’re proud to offer in South Africa.”