What’s the actual cost to a business of a data breach?

In its annual Kenya Cyber Security Report 2016, Cybersecurity firm Serianu noted that Kenyan companies lost nearly 18 Billion shillings in 2016, in cybercrime related cases.  This was an increase of 3 Billion from the 15 Billion businesses lost in 2015.

Increasingly, businesses are automating services such as payments and other internal processes. While this has served to improve efficiency in operations, it has exposed these organization to the dangers posed by cybercrime.  The most affected by these cases have been government agencies with 49% of attacks targeting these bodies while businesses in financial services coming second followed by technology related businesses.

Despite building awareness on the need to take radical measures to protect themselves, 96% of organizations in Kenya spend less than $5,000 annually or none in cyber security related products. This can be attributed to lack of budgetary allocation as well as expensive cost of cybersecurity matters to small and medium enterprises. The complex nature of the same has also hindered businesses from addressing this important aspect of their operation.

Aimed at tackling and filling this gap, Aon Kenya Risk Solutions, the risk management business of Aon Kenya recently launched a comprehensive cover that aims to protect companies in the event of cyber-attacks. The cover includes network security breaches, product liability, business interruption, system failure expenses, cyber extortion, privacy and security liability, media liability and technology errors. This means Aon will look at a firm’s cyber security posture, incident response, disaster recovery plan and cyber resilience.

The cost of such breaches can be monumental to a business organization exposing it liability, loss of business and negative media coverage considering these circumstances. At the same time, businesses continue to explore new avenues of automation such as internet of things and machine learning and a cyberattack would likely lead to a loss of investment.

Aon Cyber Enterprise Solution will cover the business over this period to ensure continuity in the business amidst these challenges. The cover further extends to media liability owing to the resultant public relations nightmare. The cover also allows the business to effect its business contingency plan amidst these challenges without necessarily incurring massive costs on the same.

The bottom line is organizations have to be in front of cyber, not behind. They have to be strategic in their thinking and not reactive. Cyber risk allows for thought leadership, cyber insurance provides that extra layer of protection and IoT security if not addressed now may lead to Cybergeddon (A movie about an FBI agent framed for cyber terrorism who fights to clear her name and stop a notorious hacker from crashing the world’s economy.)

As companies continue to infuse technology into their business models, they must also keep up with an ever-changing digital landscape. In 2017 and beyond, companies need to consider their cybersecurity practices.

Related; AON Kenya Unveils Industry-First Cyber Insurance Solution