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Chuks Udo Okonta
Leadway Assurance Company Limited, one of Nigeria’s foremost insurer, on Monday, July 13, 2020, hosted global industry thought leaders and subject matter experts to an online discourse to x-ray the rising cyber-risks in local and international businesses, as well as the various ways to mitigate the threats and attacks.
The webinar, moderated by Liz Booth, Editor, Commercial Risk Africa, featured Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); John Anyanwu, Partner, Technology Advisory Services, KPMG Nigeria,; Tariq Fadai, IT-Security expert, Africa and the Middle East, Munich Re,; Gilbert Flepp, Head, Cyber Risks and Technical lines, Chubb Eurasia and Africa, Adetola Adegbayi, Executive Director, General Insurance, Leadway Assurance Company Limited.
John Anyawu, speaking during the session, said: “Since the start of the pandemic, there have been increased dependency on the internet and mobile apps, and more reliance on digital channels. This has brought about a noticeable increase in cyber-attacks globally, and it has posed potential risks to businesses.”
He added that every organisation needed to implement prevention, detection, and responsive measures against the risks of cyber-driven attacks and fraud, noting that if organisations implemented the right cybersecurity measures, they would function with confidence regardless of the times.
Tariq Fadai gave insight into how cyber attackers operated, recommending defense mechanisms organizations could adopt. He further opined that organisations with “…poor security hygiene need to change”. Tariq noted that, with the pandemic forcing corporates to deploy remote-work conditions and routines, 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.
Corroborating Fadai, Gilbert Flepp, emphasized the urgent need for organisations 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.
In the same vein, Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, expressed concerns over the recent increase in daring cyber-attacks on businesses and individuals. “Never before has cyber threats been the way it is 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.
In her remarks, Adetola Adegbayi urged organisations to prioritise cyber-risk insurance as part of risk mitigation system against a cyber-attack, 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 re-engineered for organizations and individuals in the face of rising cyber-attacks 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 risk covers on cyber-perils for organisations, while the individual policy coverage is on the verge of introduction into the market once approved by the National Insurance Commission.
Leadway Assurance is one of Nigeria’s foremost insurance service companies with a reputation for service efficiency and customer reliability. The organisation is committed to providing innovative ways to ensure that every individual and their businesses are protected.