Cybercrime: a risk that can be curbed

Data protection is a key issue for a company’s economic sustainability

Even if you are not on the long list of victims, you may have heard of online identity theft, industrial espionage, malware, and computers hacked by cybercriminals who steal credit card numbers.

We use our smartphones and emails to communicate, we download digital movies and mp3 music, to travel we get into increasingly technology-rich cars and to purchase we turn to online commerce. It all seems so natural, given that we no longer pay attention to the amount of information that we leave behind on our computers or on the net. PCs and smartphones are nothing to be afraid of and this leads us to be confident and underestimate the dangers lurking behind their screens. The most common mistake is to fail to recognise that everyone, businesses and citizens alike, has data that can appeal to cybercriminals, because even if we are not a direct target, someone very close to us can be.

SMEs are the preferred target of cybercriminals who find it easier to breach the system of a small company so as to later remotely take control of a computer and aim for the big target, accessing the systems of a large company, a partner in the supply chain.

Cybercrime has now become a real industry, with organisations that work in the dark web and generate an annual turnover of over $400 billion.

According to data collected by the Ponemon Institute's "Cost of Cyber Crime" study, a single case of data breach with loss of the data and accounts of users and employees can cost a company up to $3.62 million and it takes an average of 66 days to return to normal, net of reputational and image damage. Based on hard evidence, data protection is the key issue for a company’s economic sustainability.

Of course, the digital revolution provides a significant competitive advantage to companies and institutions, but it is also true that we need a responsible use of the innovation it involves, carefully assessing opportunities and risks.

The strong increase in global costs due to cybercrime is in part due to the difficulty for organizations to safely manage the integration of Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 devices with more traditional IT services.

In a hyper-competitive, global economic environment that can easily be affected by technological innovation, limiting risks and managing vulnerabilities is one of the pillars of a company's strategic planning, one in which insurance plays a fundamental role.

Although cyber security is being treated with increasing attention, the cyber insurance market is still in its infancy, although it is set to grow significantly. It is estimated that around 30% of global companies have taken out a policy in this field, with one-digit percentages for the SME segment.

Generali, as a global insurer, intends to be at the forefront of identifying and mitigating this type of emerging risk, offering innovative and relevant solutions for customers. Leveraging the new Cyber Insurance function and the Group’s technological innovation, which is the cornerstone of CyberSecurTech start-up, it will able to support customers’ needs.

For further information read the press release "Generali launches its fully-dedicated cyber insurance function and the CyberSecurTech start-up".