Kiwi-owned insurance 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-risk insurance to 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, network disruption, 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.”
Kirk says the new Personal Cyber-risk Management 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.
“Most people are vaguely aware of how they might be attacked via the internet, but often struggle with what to do about it. They essentially have no idea of their actual exposure – so 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.
“DynaRisk starts with your email addresses, credit cards and phone numbers and lets you know if any of them have been breached – and if any of that information is available on the ‘dark web’. It then gives guidance on what to do about that,” says Boles. “It will also identify risks such as weak passwords and show you how you address the risks through encryption or secure password-storage software, for example – the basic IT ‘hygiene’ actions people don’t do very well.”
Boles says up to 10 devices can be registered on DynaRisk, which provides users 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. Many people work away from the office on their own devices, which raises the risk of a device acting as a Trojan horse bringing harm into the business.”