Cyber insurance now critical for most businesses

Between July 2022 and September 2022, there was a 199.5 per cent increase in cyber breach attempts. [iStockphoto]

As Kenyan businesses steadily adopt e-commerce platforms to woo customers, the need to safeguard corporate and clients data has become critical.

This is especially considering a growing need for privacy of confidential data such as registration details, health records, payment details, visitors’ logs and employee records. The risk of losing such data to cyber criminals is increasingly becoming a business continuity and reputational risk that can no longer be ignored.

According to the Communications Authority of Kenya’s Cybersecurity Sector Report for between July 2022 and September 2022, there was a 199.5 per cent increase in cyber breach attempts totalling 278 million detected threats.

The threats reported included child abuse, impersonation, online fraud and abuse. The report notes that cyber threat actors’ intention was to restrict access to services, spread malicious images that contain crypto miners, carry out backdoor attacks and spread threat vectors disguised as legitimate software applications, which are used by supply-chains.

The communication sector regulator’s report points to an urgent need for companies and public sector entities to consider taking up cyber liability insurance cover to avert hefty compensation claims due to client data breaches.

Cyber insurance generally covers a business’ liability for a data breach involving sensitive customer information, such as identity card numbers, credit card numbers, account numbers, driver’s licence numbers and health records.

It is therefore important to take up cybersecurity liability insurance since it is the responsibility of a company to shoulder blame that could result in civil or criminal litigation, in case of security mishaps that occur online on its platform. For instance, when customers’ communication shared via web forms or in e-mails is accessed illegally, you can conceivably be held liable for anything that happens to that data.

Minet Kenya recently unveiled its Bizna Sure product targeting SMEs in Kenya that includes a cyber liability cover designed to insure any financial losses that result from data breaches and other cyber events.

The product underwritten by Fidelity Insurance builds on the need to not only secure business growth but to also encourage more investments into different sectors as investors know their funds are secured. The policy cover seeks to protect businesses through personalised, dynamic, and comprehensive insurance solutions, giving business owners the peace of mind, they need to focus on growing their businesses.

As businesses embrace digital transformation, the importance of cyber insurance cannot be overlooked. It serves as a critical component of an organisation’s risk management strategy, offering financial protection, expert guidance, and risk mitigation measures. In an increasingly interconnected and vulnerable world, cyber insurance provides a safety net to ensure businesses weather the storm of cyber threats better and emerge stronger.

-The writer is head of business development at Minet Kenya