16 Aug 2019
For Delta Insurance
Kiwi-owned company Delta Insurance has introduced cover to protect individuals and households from losses through cyber-attacks – a first for this country.
The move to provide the cyber insurance for individuals follows Delta’s move earlier this year to introduce a cyber risk-management offering, DynaRisk, which individuals can use to shore up their defences against cyber-attacks.
Delta Chief Executive Officer Craig Kirk says the company had felt for some time there was a big gap in the market for some form of insurance to cover the growing number of cyber-risks people were encountering. “The list is growing all the time: identity theft, theft of financial assets, attacks on smart devices at home like baby-phone cameras and smart TVs, viruses, ransomware, unauthorised online transactions and theft of priceless family items like digital photographs. The financial damage can be substantial, but it can also bring massive emotional stress and disruption. It takes victims more than five hours on average to sort a breach, and around a third of breaches take more than a week to sort.”
Kirk says the new Personal Cyber Insurance, PerCy for short, will initially be available to organisations to offer their employees and customers in conjunction with DynaRisk. “Insuring against losses arising from cyber-attacks is important, but we wanted to provide something that promoted cyber-wellness too. That’s the Delta thing: our philosophy as a company is about seeking to provide some form of preventive protection, as well as the insurance support if something goes wrong.”
Kirk says the insurance has no excess, limited paperwork and sits on a digital platform for ease of use – “to on-board a group of customers we just need their email addresses and we can then send them an activation email to access the policy benefits and to set up their DynaRisk account. It’s a ‘light-touch’ model and designed to be very intuitive.”
Delta cyber-risk specialist Fred Boles says the increase in cyber-attacks here and overseas was alarming, but so was the fact that many kiwis have little or no protection in place – “hence our excitement about making DynaRisk available.
“Around two-thirds of consumers believe they will be subject to cyber-attacks in the next year. Most people are vaguely aware of how they might be attacked via the internet and almost 90% want to do something about it. But they essentially have no idea of their actual exposure, so they often struggle with what to do – they don’t know where to start. The great thing about DynaRisk is that it coaches you through the whole process of optimising your cyber-security and then provides ongoing monitoring and training tools – such as how to spot and avoid ‘phishing’.
“DynaRisk monitors whether your personal information – such as email addresses, credit cards and phone numbers - has been breached - and if any of that information is available on the ‘dark web’,” says Boles. “It then gives guidance on what to do about that; it will identify your risks such as weak passwords or privacy settings and show how to address these through encryption or secure password-storage software, for example - the basic IT ‘hygiene’ actions people don’t do very well.”
Boles says individuals can register their devices on DynaRisk, which provides them with a dashboard showing how they are faring, along with a running score for their risk – “and users are coached over time to improve that score.”
He says the new offerings have benefits for both families and employers. “For the first time in New Zealand, families will really be able to significantly reduce their exposure to hackers and online criminals, but organisations will also benefit. More and more employees work from home and use their own devices, which raises the risk of a device acting as a Trojan horse, bringing harm into the business.”
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