Impact of Cyber-Attacks On Insurance Industry

The cyber risks have increased after the outbreak of Covid-19. One of the main reasons behind the increment in cyber attacks is that the companies had to send their employees to work from homeand it made their online data vulnerable and easier to hack. This led to cyber risks in the insurance industry as well.

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Cyber Risks During Pandemic

Usage of digital means has increased during the pandemic in order to maintain the social distance from each other. Almost every organization in the world opted the remote work and started doing business digitally. The remote working culture made the digital medium more prone to cyber-attacks. During the pandemic, the insurance companies providing cyber insurance policies have also come into the radar of cyberbullies.

Cyber attacks are one of the top global digital risks for the financial sector. The number of incidents have increased along with the impact on financial entities. As per a recent study on the cyber risk during the pandemic in the financial sector reveals the number of covid-19 related cyber-attacks has increased in the health sector. Not just this, insurance companies, credit unions, and payment institutions are some of the most affected sectors.

Insurance Companies In The Radar of Cyber Bullies

Insurance companies have always been on the radar of the cyberbullies. It is because of the amount of data they have of their customers. They have all the details about their customer’s health issues, their income, etc. which if get into the hands of these hackers then they can use all those information to blackmail them.

This makes the insurance companies more prone to cyber-attacks than any other company. Since insurance companies have started promoting online purchases and renewals to make the customer's experience smoother hence become one of the favourite targets of hackers.

Consequences Suffered by Insurers

Interruption in the business of the insurance companies is one of the biggest consequences suffered by them along with the cost of materials used for undertaking, for the third parties and policyholders. The data hacked by cyberbullies can be used in different criminal activities such as identity theft to blackmail the company for financial gains.

Apart from the financial loss, the insurance companies will have to face reputational damage that can last for a long time. Also, these attacks can result in operational issues also. Since the cyber attacks can cause interruption in the business then it will directly impact their customers.

Loss of Customers

Insurance companies hold the personal data of their customers and once that data is on loose, the companies will have to face legal consequences as it makes their customers eligible to file a case against them for not protecting their personal data.

Since insurance companies hold on to confidential data of their customers and if they get hacked, the customers lose their trust in the insurance company with their data. This results in the loss of customers in the future due to reputational damage and not being able to protect their company from cyber-attacks.

Advantage & Disadvantage of Cyber Insurance

In this digital era, having cyber insurance has become a necessity. The cyber insurance policy can provide coverage for all the data lost due to cyber-attack and this is one of the advantages but the hackers cannot be trusted with the data as they can copy all that data that they can use later to blackmail the company. Also, once the reputation of the insurance company damages, it takes years to get back that goodwill and reputation in the mind of the “would-be customers”.

Everything has its advantages and disadvantages but keeping yourself ready and secure is in your hands. Companies in the service sectors have to keep themselves ready for an unexpected data breach as they are not only responsible for their company’s data but the data of their customers.

Conclusion

Cyber attacks are inevitable. Since it is impossible to stop these cyberattacks, it is better to keep yourself ready and protected by installing anti-malware so that you can protect your company’s data. Talking about the insurance companies, well they have to not only secure the data from within the company and value chain but also be prepared from any unforeseen threats.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 18 January 2023

Cyber insurance news

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Cyber Fraudster Target Customer under Disguise of Insurance Officer

09 Jan 2023

Cyber fraudsters are targeting customers under the disguise of not a bank official but an insurance company official. In one such event, a 67 year old citizen from Thottakattukara, Kochi, lost Rs 1 lakh.
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He was approached by a woman name Radhika Jain who claimed to be from an insurance company. She promised the victim to make the financial settlement for the raised claim if he pays Rs 1 lakh to renew the policy. When the victim filed the complaint, Rural Cyber Police, Ernakulam, launched the investigation. The incident took place on October 29 and the fraudster claimed to be an ICICI Prudential Insurance official. The fraudster fooled the elderly person by telling them that his insurance policy has expired and the settlement cannot be made disbursement of the insurance amount. As per the Police officer, “The fraudster suggested the victim to pay Rs 1 Lakh to renew the insurance policy. If the policyholder pays the amount then he will be considered as Senior citizen and the disbursement will be done. In order to make it look genuine, the caller sent ICICI Prudential life insurance letterhead through Whatsapp.” “The fraudster promised the complainant that within 45 days the settlement of Rs 2.45 lakh will be done. The victim transferred the amount to the fraudster’s Canara bank account and once the payment was made the fraudster sent some fake documents. However, the promised settlement of Rs 2.45 lakh was not made even after 45 days.” A police officer said. After cross checking the details of transaction, the police found out that the accused was from Aligarh. Police is also probing as to how the accused got the information related to the insurance policy of the victim.
Sensitive Data of 6 Lakh Indians Stolen by Hackers and Sold at Rs. 490 each

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Out of 5 million people globally, 6 lakhs Indians have had their sensitive data stolen and sold on the bot market making India, the worst affected country.
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The average cost of the digital identity of one person was Rs.490, revealed NordVPN, the world's largest VPN service provider. The stolen data include user logins, screenshots, digital fingerprints, cookies, and other sensitive information. All these data are sold in packets in the bot markets, which refer to places where hackers sell stolen data from victims' devices with bot malware. The study majorly looked into three-bot markets the Genesis market, 2Easy and the Russian Market. Out of 26.6 million stolen logins found on the bot markets, 7,20,000 were Google logins, 6,47,000 were Facebook and 6,54,000 were Microsoft logins. Moreover, 667 million cookies, 5,38,000 auto-fill forms, 81,000 digital fingerprints, multiple device screenshots, and webcam snapshots were also found by the researchers. The bot markets are distinct from other dark markets as bot markets are able to get huge amounts of information related to one person in one place. The hackers also guarantee that once the bot is sold, the data of the victim will be updated till their device is affected by that bot, stated Marijus Briedis, chief technology officer at NordVPN. Security researchers also said that not all bots come with a good purpose, many can be malicious as well. These bots operate in multiple fields like customer service, SEO and entertainment and are becoming increasingly common recently. Vidar, RedLine, Taurus, AZORult and Racoon are some of the most popular malware used to collect and steal information out of which RedLine is the most common, stated the report.
AIIMS Cyber Breach: Attackers Demand Rs 200 Crore in Crypto

06 Dec 2022

All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India reported a cyberattack on November 23, 2022. Later, the statement released by AIIMS said that e-hospital system
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has gone down and it has affected the digital hospital services, e-billing, smart lab, appointment system and report generation. AIIMS currently manages around 2,500 beds. It is said that the data of around 2 to 3 Crore patients might have been compromised. After the incident, AIIMS shifted to manual operations to cater the patients. Also, All India Institute of Medical Sciences sought National Informatics Centre (NIC) and I-CERT to restore the digital services. The incident has been reported to Delhi Police whereas CBI and NIA have joined the investigation. AIIMS issued a new Standard operation procedure where the admission, discharge and transfer of patients will be done manually.  As per a source told Press Trust of India, “Hackers have demanded a ransom of Rs 200 Crore in crypto currency on November 28, 2022”. Later, Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations unit have registered the case under cyber terrorism and extortion on November 25.  Meanwhile, National Information Centre e-hospital database and application servers restored the data for e-hospital. Also, the team of NIC is cleaning and scanning infections from other e-hospital servers that are located at AIIMS hospital. These servers are required to deliver the service of the hospital. Also, four physical servers have been arranged to restore the e-hospital services and have been scanned and prepared for the applications and database. As per the source, “Sanitisation of AIIMS network is in progress. Antivirus has been installed on 1200 out of 5000 computers and 20 out of 50 servers have been scanned. This activity is going on 24*7”.
Cyber Criminals Sending Phishing Links to Twitter Users

06 Dec 2022

Cyber criminals are targeting twitter Verified Twitter user by sending them phishing links. The cyber criminals send the phishing link to steal their phone number
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and other details registered with their account. This new phishing link attack is tricking users to enter their username, password and contact details such as phone number on an unverified website that is claimed to be a help site by Twitter.
Cert-In Issues Warning to Iphone and Ipad users

06 Dec 2022

Cert-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) reported several vulnerabilities in AppleIOS and iPadOS that allows a remote tracker to gain access to private data,
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run random codes or cause service denial on targeted user’s device. Cert-In states that the vulnerability can be exploited and the iphone and ipad users should update their software properly.

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