Cybersecurity - staying one step ahead
10 September 2019
Maxim Dobrov heads up cybersecurity as Senior Development Underwriter (Professions and Speciality Commercial) at specialist insurer Hiscox UK. He is delivering an interactive plenary session at the UK Credit & Collections Conference (UKCCC) 2019 on how to stay one step ahead of cyber risks.
As insurance specialists, our role at Hiscox is to educate our corporate customers to improve their risk awareness and help prepare them for the challenges they face in running their businesses. One of the key challenges facing most organisations in 2019 is cybersecurity, particularly for service sector businesses like those in the debt collection sector who hold and use highly sensitive data. However, for any organisation a ‘digital blackout’ resulting from being ‘hacked’ can be hugely detrimental and we’re interested in how they can be prevented and managed if they do happen.
So what cyber risks are businesses facing? Many think it’s only ‘hacking’ but the risks are much wider from basic misuse of data and loss of devices with GDPR-related implications, to ‘sextortion’ where employees are threatened via email by someone claiming to have filmed them watching something they shouldn’t have been via their webcam. Since hacking webcams is very sophisticated, it is usually a scam unless the perpetrator is looking for a lot more than £500 cash from an individual.
Risk management is top of the agenda for most organisations in the credit and debt collection arena but understanding the true impact of cyber risks before they have happened is difficult for organisations until they see it in action. We can all imagine what being hacked feels like but we can’t imagine what it costs to put right.
At the UK Credit & Collections Conference (UKCCC), I’ll be taking delegates through some exercises to show just how easily their systems can be compromised and how vulnerable their organisations are to a range of cyber attacks.
I’ll then be asking delegates to think about what they would have to spend to fix it if they were hacked in some way. Let’s break the figure down – what would you have to pay an IT consultant, a lawyer, the actual hacker? The list goes on. And that’s before we even get to the time lost and the data compromised.
No organisation in the world is completely immune to cyber attacks; they can’t be prevented but you can certainly improve your chances by being prepared. It’s not about the sophistication of your IT system, it’s about human error – and human error from losing devices to clicking on things you shouldn’t, can happen to anyone.
Our advice is to think about these risks at a strategic level, train your staff as comprehensively as possible, and consider risk transfers like insurance. I look forward to helping delegates plan how they can get cybersecurity right.
Maxim is speaking at the upcoming UK Credit & Collections Conference (UKCCC) in Newcastle.
UKCCC event site
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