Allianz Creates Cyber Unit
for U.S. Market
By Shawn Selby, PropertyCasualty360.com
Munich-based Allianz Group’s specialist corpo- rate insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty announced that it is creating a dedicated
Cyber unit in the United States as part of
its financial lines portfolio.
Allianz has named Emy R. Donavan
and Jenny Soubra national practice leaders, effective immediately. They report
to Paul Schiavone, who is Allianz’s regional head of Financial Lines for North
Based in San Francisco, Donavan and
Soubra will lead a team tasked with developing and placing AGCS’s first-ever U.S.
Cyber and Specialty Professional Indemnity policy. Since 2013, AGCS has been
offering a dedicated Cyber insurance
product in Asia and Europe, followed by
Canada in 2014.
“The recent flurry of publicized attacks
is only the tip of the iceberg, and the in-
terruption of critical systems may severe-
ly affect a company’s business continuity,
causing irreparable damage to their over-
all brand and reputation,” Schiavone said.
According to a recent report issued by
AGCS, “A Guide to Cyber Risk: Managing the Impact of Increasing Intercon-nectivity,” cyber risk is costing the global
economy $445 billion a year, $108 billion of which comes from the U.S. With
fewer than 10 percent of companies currently purchasing Cyber-specific policies,
AGCS forecasts that Cyber insurance
premiums will grow globally from $2 billion per annum today to more than $20
billion over the next decade, a compound
annual growth rate above 20 percent.
“The corporate cyber risk of today is
one that cannot be ignored and deserves
the immediate attention of the C-suite.
Companies increasingly face new exposures, including first- and third-party
damage, as well as regulatory consequences” added Schiavone said.
Donavan joins Allianz from AXIS Pro,
where she was vice president of underwriting. Soubra joins from ACE Group,
where she was assistant vice president for
professional liability and cyber.
Short for malicious software, the term
“malware” describes the spectrum of
tools used nefariously by cybercriminals
to hack computer networks including
exploitation kits, computer viruses, network worms and remote access trojans.
According to Technopedia, some
forms of malware “spy” on user Internet
traffic. Examples include spyware and
adware. Spyware monitors a user’s location and if enabled, it can capture sensitive information, for example, credit
card numbers, promoting identity theft.
Adware also acquires user information,
which is shared with advertisers and
then integrated with unwanted, triggered pop-up ads.
7. Network reconnaissance
Just as a common thief canvasses a
neighborhood looking for vulnerable
homes, a computer hacker often uses automated tools to scan large blocks of the
Internet looking for systems and software to exploit. After finding targets of
opportunity, the hacker’s next step is to
identify the ones that may contain data
or services that can be monetized.
Modern ransomware attacks often use
advanced encryption techniques to render a victim’s data useless until the hacker’s demands are met or a sum of money
is paid. Additional terms for ransomware
include “crypto-virus,” “crypto-Trojan”
or “crypto-worm.” A well-known ransomware that surfaced on the Internet in
2013 is called CryptoLocker.
9. Social engineering
Not all attacks are technically sophisticated. Social engineering involves classic deception to trick individuals into
parting with their data and funds. In
some instances, employees are misled
into making a payment to a fraudster
posing as a client or vendor through
email, fax or even over the phone. Generally, the person emailing or calling
has just enough information to sound