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Cyber Defenses and Cyber Insurance: A Holistic Approach to Cyber Risk Management

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By: Chester Wisniewski, Director Global Field CTO

The landscape of cyber threats has significantly expanded in terms of volume, complexity, and impact of attacks over the past few years. Consequently, regardless of their size, industry, or geographic location, the vast majority of companies prioritize protection against these threats and primarily strive to implement robust cyber defense measures to counteract them.

However, given the difficulty of preventing and anticipating all current and future forms of threats, especially the methods attackers use to bypass defenses and introduce ransomware into a system, organizations worldwide also tend to adopt cyber insurance policies to safeguard their operations in the event of a successful intrusion. According to a study conducted in early 2023, 91% of global companies have some form of cyber insurance.” 

If 47% of companies declare having subscribed to an independent insurance policy, and 43% have opted for insurance integrated into broader coverage, independent and integrated cyber policies are the two main types in the market. It is crucial for companies to choose coverage that aligns with their specific needs and risks, ensuring the best possible protection for their data and operations.

Before subscribing to insurance, conducting an audit of existing solutions is essential, questioning whether they benefit from top-notch first-line cybersecurity protection. Indeed, this can impact their access to cyber insurance and the selection of a policy that best suits their particular needs.

The quality of cyber defenses significantly influences corporate coverage. First-line cybersecurity measures can notably affect the adoption and choice of a cyber insurance policy for companies. According to the aforementioned study, 95% of respondents specifically cite that the quality of implemented cyber defenses has a direct impact on the insurance they subscribe to, affecting both the cost and terms of the policy, ensuring access to the coverage that suits them best.”

“According to the study, 60% of organizations with cyber insurance state that the quality of their existing defenses influenced their ability to secure coverage. Furthermore, 62% mention its impact on the policy’s cost, and 28% note its effect on insurance contract terms. Ensuring the most comprehensive and robust protection layer is essential to save money and select insurance that best meets the business’s requirements.

Interestingly, cybersecurity measures play a more significant role in obtaining independent cyber insurance compared to integrated coverage. 71% of those with independent policies note that the quality of their protection influenced their coverage, while only 49% of those with integrated policies believe it impacted their ability to contract cyber insurance. Conversely, the performance of security measures has a greater influence on the cost of integrated policies (67%) than independent insurance (58%).

Therefore, companies should prioritize assessing the effectiveness and robustness of their cybersecurity solutions before seeking cyber insurance tailored to their needs. This approach enables them to select the most appropriate policy and negotiate favorable costs and terms.”

“The importance of cyber insurance in protecting against ransomware

The primary threat facing businesses today has a name: ransomware. This type of malicious software, designed to encrypt and steal organizational data, followed by a ransom demand, has become the top concern for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) in recent years.

Given that its introduction into a system can result from highly varied, often unpredictable, and constantly evolving tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP), it is impossible to guarantee that a company will not experience a successful intrusion. Hence, it is crucial for organizations to have, in addition to traditional cybersecurity solutions, a tailored cyber insurance policy that allows them to protect against data encryption, theft, or deletion.

In the event of data encryption, companies with the support and assistance of their insurer during the data recovery process, and those who, to qualify for insurance, have implemented enhanced security measures such as secure backups or incident response plans, are more likely to recover their encrypted data. According to the study, 98% of those with independent cyber insurance successfully restored their encrypted data, compared to 97% for those with integrated coverage, and only 84% for those without insurance.

It’s worth highlighting that beneficiaries of cyber insurance are more inclined to pay the ransom to retrieve their data. Thus, 58% of independent policyholders who fell victim. 

“In conclusion, while cyber insurance is now an essential element of business protection, it is inseparable from the quality of solutions and security measures taken to safeguard information systems and organizational data. It is crucial for global stakeholders, regardless of their industry, to ensure they have the most comprehensive, robust, and effective first-line protection to best guard against ransomware attacks and all other types of threats.

It’s also noteworthy that some managed cybersecurity solution providers offer complementary insurance guarantees in the event of a successful attack to further strengthen business protection. These aspects only reinforce the quasi-symbiotic relationship between cyber insurance and cybersecurity solutions.”


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Under my Watch, NBC will Follow Due Process- New DG

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Charles Ebuebu, new director general, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), has promised to follow due process in the regulation of broadcast stations in the country.

Under my Watch, NBC will Follow Due Process- New DG

The new NBC boss made this known in an exclusive interview with Channels Television on Monday after a meeting with Dr John Momoh, chairman, Channels Media Group.

Ebuebu, who replaced Balarabe Illelah as director-general of NBC last October following his appointment by President Bola Tinubu, promised to end any arbitrary sanction on media stations in the country while not sparing consistent wrongs by defaulters.

He said the NBC Code will be reviewed to facilitate an enabling industry that allows operators thrive.

Ebuebu said, “There are two sides to a coin: one one hand, there is a perception that the NBC has been overreaching in the applications of sanctions. It’s been said that we did not follow due process and all of that.

“Basically, the takeaway for me is that, it has been an arbitrary process. Now, part of my training as a lawyer is the fact that we will definietly put together a transparent process. I don’t want to particular details. It’s still in process but I can assure you (that) there is going to be a change in that perception, it’s going to be transparent so much so people will be allowed to speak, they will be allowed to defend themselves.

“The issues will be analysed based on the code. We are going to have a code review where all inputs will be taken in and that will address that perception.

“Now, on the other side of it, it’s sort of strange to have a policeman who cannot issue a fine. of course, the case is in court and I can talk about its legality or otherwise.”


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How New UK Funding for Tech Entrepreneurs will Boost Livelihoods in Developing Countries

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Andrew Mitchell, UK’s Development Minister has announced new UK funding for innovative mobile phone technology will help change lives in developing countries around the world.

He noted that harnessing AI technology to provide real-time agricultural advice to farmers in Nigeria and pay-as-you-go solar powered fridges are just some of the ways UK-funded mobile technology is improving livelihoods globally.

At a speech at Mobile World Congress last week, Minister Mitchell announced the UK is providing £37.3 million of new support for the Mobile for Development Programme, to help more people access mobile and digital technologies to find new opportunities and boost their livelihoods.

The programme, which the UK funds in partnership with UK-based mobile industry association GSMA and the private sector, has already benefitted more than 94 million people and focuses on women and girls, climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience and scaling up innovative solutions.

Minister for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell said: “Mobile technology has the potential to revolutionise the lives of the poor by helping tackle the effects of climate change, creating jobs and boosting opportunities for women.

“The Mobile for Development programme has already benefitted more than 100 million people, and the UK’s new announcement aims to up the ambition, reaching 110 million additional people, including 60 million women.

“Together the worlds of development and mobile tech giants can be a powerful force to unlock opportunities and prosperity and meet the UN Global Goals.”

UK funding has previously helped scale up a digital hub in Pakistan, BaKhabar Kissan (BKK), which provides accurate weather forecasting data to farmers to help them make critical farming decisions such as the timing of seed sowing, irrigation, and fertilisation. With the help of this programme, BKK has almost doubled users from 6.6 million to 12.4 million.

Another innovative business, Ensibuuko, is providing digital skills training to help community saving groups in rural Uganda keep up with the latest digital products and services where previously they relied on paper record-keeping. Since gaining funding, Ensibuuko has benefited over 236,000 members of rural savings groups, 60% of whom are women, providing them with digital skills training.

John Giusti, President of the GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation, said:”For more than a decade, the FCDO and the GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation have worked closely in partnership to drive socio-economic and climate impact for the most underserved populations through digital innovation, and to date our partnership has improved the lives of more than 127 million people.

“Today’s renewal of our partnership will further amplify our joint impact by leveraging the power of digital and emerging technologies to support innovation, improve access to opportunities for women, and tackle the effects of climate change for the most vulnerable.”

With the increase in climate crises around the world, the need for new solutions to help vulnerable countries adapt is growing and mobile technology can make a big difference to people’s lives.

At Mobile World Congress, GSMA also announced the grantees for its Climate Resilience and Adaptation Fund which is funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. This fund is designed to test and scale up new technology to combat the effects of climate change in countries throughout Africa and Asia.

Some of the projects being funded include one using AI-powered satellite imagery to help smallholder farmers increase their yields and another to reduce food waste via an online grocery platform.


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Omniverse Summit 2024: Climate Action Africa Reiterates Commitment to Climate Innovation Agenda

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Climate Action Africa (CAA), a leading social enterprise focused on environmental sustainability, reaffirmed its commitment to fostering an inclusive climate action ecosystem at the ongoing Omniverse Summit 2024.

Alice Eze, Chief Operating Officer of Climate Action Africa and Olatubosun Alake and Commissioner, Innovation, Science and Technology, Lagos State at the Omniverse Summit 2024 that held in Lagos, Nigeria.

Co-founded by Innovation Support Network (ISN Hubs) with support from GIZ/Digital Transformation Center Nigeria (GIZ/DTC Nigeria), the Omniverse serves as a meeting point for diverse stakeholders across sectors, including development partners, public entities, regulatory agencies, academia, startups, finance professionals, media, and the creative industries.

As a key participant at the four-day event, Climate Action Africa has reaffirmed its commitment to being at the forefront of driving climate innovation for a sustainable future. The organization emphasized the need to integrate environmental sustainability models, technology, and community-driven innovation to address climate change challenges.

Emphasizing the pivotal role of innovation in identifying and scaling solutions to address the imminent climate crisis in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, Alice Eze, Chief Operating Officer of Climate Action Africa, said: “Our participation at The Omniverse Summit 2024 reflects our conviction that fostering innovation is crucial in discovering and amplifying solutions to address the imminent climate crisis, not only in Africa but also globally.”

Climate Action Africa’s participation includes thought-provoking discussions on offering climate-resilient solutions, engaging exhibitions, active involvement in deal room discussions, and cultivating strategic partnerships towards the upcoming Climate Action Africa Forum 2024, among others.

Climate Action Africa remains dedicated to engaging with critical stakeholders and advocating for a multi-stakeholder approach to addressing climate change challenges. The organization’s presence at The Omniverse Summit 2024 reflects its commitment to this collaborative approach, which is essential for knowledge exchange and shared solutions to navigate the complex climate challenges facing the African continent and its communities.

L-R: Alice Eze, Chief Operating Officer of Climate Action Africa and Olatubosun Alake, Commissioner, Innovation, Science and Technology, Lagos State at the Omniverse Summit 2024 that was held in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

 


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