Aon takes lead in launch of cover for digital enterprises

Aon Kenya Chief Executive Officer Sammy Muthui. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Aon Kenya Chief Executive Officer Sammy Muthui. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Professional services firm Aon Kenya is the first company in the market to launch a cyber enterprise insurance at a time when online security threats are on the rise globally.

The policy will enable businesses to protect themselves against the costs of cyber criminals, data loss and the potential ramifications of a cyber-incident.

In 2016, there were 7.87 billion cyber attack attempts, with the most being ransomware — a type of malware that prevents or limits businesses from accessing their system until they pay off the attackers — increasing from nearly four million attempts in 2015 to 638 million in 2016, according to a 2017 annual threat report, by SonicWall, a company which studies cyber threats.

“The rise of ransomware as a service (RaaS) made it easier than ever for cyber criminals to access and deploy ransomware. As a result, many organisations struggled to find answers on how to protect themselves and how to properly respond to the dilemmas rose with this new breed of cyber threat,” reported SonicWall. 

However, Aon Kenya’s new insurance offers companies a means of protection from the financial losses that arise from cyber attacks, thus giving it a competitive edge in the market as the company of choice for businesses seeking beneficial insurance policies in the digital age.

A day after its launch, the company had already received more than 10 enquires via email and phone calls from companies seeking the insurance, indicating the appetite for protection.

“Data is an organisation’s most valuable asset but it is also its most vulnerable asset. However, as businesses and companies grow, so do their exposure to cyber risk. This simply means that that as the value of a business grows, it raises its profile among hackers,” said Aon Kenya Chief Executive Officer Sammy Muthui.

Indeed, companies are spending as much as $11.7 million per year to manage cyber crime incidents themselves or to recover from the disruption to the business and customers which occur, according to a study released this year on the cost of cyber crime conducted by Accenture, a global management consulting and professional services company.

Of these businesses, financial services suffered the most, with $18 million in losses, followed by energy firms with $17 million losses.

On average, firms suffered 130 cyber attacks annually on their network or system infiltrations, a 27 per cent rise in 2016, with malware attacks proving the most damaging, costing companies $2.4 million in losses, followed by web attacks, costing them $2 million in losses annually.

“Among the organisations we studied, information loss represented the largest cost component with a rise from 35 per cent in 2015 to 43 per cent in 2017. It is this threat that demands that organisations re-examine their investment priorities to keep pace with these more sophisticated and highly motivated attacks,” reported the researchers.

“The cost of business disruption was the next component at 33 per cent. Business disruption costs include diminished employee productivity and business process failures that happen after a cyber attack. Revenue losses and equipment damages followed at 21 per cent and three per cent, respectively.”

Aon Kenya’s cyber enterprise solutions will cover against ransomware attacks, third party litigation services, damage done to property, business interruption and extra expense coverage arising out of systems failure; contingent network business interruption for IT vendors and the supply chain; cyber terrorism coverage; privacy/security liability and event expense coverage among others.

The amount of premium paid will depend on the type of cover that a company requires and is tailor- made to suit each industry and size of business.

“The launch of our new Cyber Risk Solution underlines our commitment to provide cover for the wave of new and emerging risks that worry risk managers the most,” said Mr Muthui.

- African Laughter