Protecting yourself from cyber fraud

While the rise in internet usage is good news, one cannot ignore that there is an ugly side to it as well, which is frauds and cyber crimes. A look at the data shows that the number of cases registered for cyber crimes have been consistently on the rise and more than doubled in the last five years.

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While the rise in internet usage is good news, one cannot ignore that there is an ugly side to it as well, which is frauds and cyber crimes. According to NCRB data, in 2021, India registered 50,242 cases of cyber crimes, amounting to a loss of a whopping Rs 167.03 crore. Of the cases registered, 4,823 cases were of online banking fraud, 4,071 were identity theft cases, 2,028 OTP fraud cases and 1,176 belonged to cyber stalkings alone.

Cyber crimes have been consistently on the rise and more than doubled in the last five years.

A look at the data shows that the number of cases registered for cyber crimes have been consistently on the rise and more than doubled in the last five years. In 2017, there were just 21,796 cases registered. While guidelines are being issued from time to time by country's central bank-RBI to practice safe online activities and banking and adoption of various mea-sures like deploying password managers, deleting saved passwords on primary devices, any cyber-attack can result in a huge financial loss for companies and individuals and that is where having a cyber insurance become all the more important.

WHAT IS CYBER INSURANCE

A cyber-insurance is a kind of insurance that provides coverage against financial losses caused by many hazards of the digital age, including malware attacks, phishing, identity theft, social media breaches, email spoofing, etc. "With the widespread digitisation and internet penetration, threats of cyber-attacks are on the rise. A comprehensive cyber insurance policy can protect individuals against cyber risks," says Subramanyam Brahmajosyula, Head – Underwriting & Reinsurance, SBI General Insurance.

WHO OFFERS IT

One can take coverage against cyber attacks by the likes of both public and private insurers- HDFC Ergo, Tata AIG, ICICI Lombard, SBI Insurance and New India Assurance. HDFC Cyber sachet policy offers a comprehensive range of cover, providing 360-degree protection to its customers against the uncer-tainty of the cyber world. Similarly, SBI general insurance has CyberVault Edge policy and Cyber Defence Policy. The coverage starts from upwards of Rs 10,000. The premium depends on the coverage chosen.

CUSTOMISATION

The good news is the policies offered by the insurance players can be bundled up by a customer as per his/her require-ment. They can pick, choose and make their own plan. For instance, if someone wants coverage only against online shop-ping, online sales and Identity theft from HDFC Ergo, he has to shell out Rs 1,251 for a sum assured of Rs 1 lakh. For a Rs 10 lakh coverage, this goes up to Rs 2,677. Sanjay Kaw, President, Commercial Business, HDFC ERGO General Insurance tells Entrepreneur India, "In retail cyber, one can customize their preferred cyber insurance plan. There are options available where one can select covers as per their needs and requirements. In ad-dition, there is also an option to extend the cover to their family."

LOW AWARENESS ABOUT INSURANCE PRODUCTS

Despite cybercrime being identified by the World Economic Forum as "one of the most significant threats confronting countries in the next five years, there is still not enough awareness on cyber networkinsurance products.

"The trend slightly changed post-pandemic when more and more people had to adopt online mode in their personal and professional lives. Also, in order to make it more relevant to the present market scenario, insurers have also adjusted the underwriting and pricing of these products. But the basic characteristics of cyber insurance make it difficult for insurers to draft and price policies that cover a wide range of risks. Many insurers are attempting to market stand-alone cyber insurance to aug-ment, if not replace, coverage included in traditional ordinary policies, which were most likely not designed to protect against today's fast-changing cyber risk scenario." adds Kaw. As per Data Security Council of India (DSCI), the cyber insurance market is expected to grow globally at a CAGR of 27% from INR 29,400 crore in 2017 to INR 1.59 lakh crore in 2024.

HEALTHCARE THE MOST VULNERABLE SECTOR

Not only banks, financial institutions, but many startups, from Software as a Service (SaaS), fintech, insuretech to life science enterprises, have sensitive customer data that must be secured.. "Amongst industries the most vulner-able one is healthcare as it often con-tains some of the most sensitive data that hackers could obtain, and ill and elderly people are much easier targets for online scams and thefts. However, there is an increase in exposure and claims from other industries like hospital-ity, manufacturing, IT, etc," says Kaw.

Concurs Brahmajosyula "With most of the corporates /sectors leaning towards digitisation, almost all sectors are prone to cyber risks. Hence, eventually the cyber insurance products will be relevant for all sectors."

FACTORS TO CONSIDER

It is important to review the coverage, limit of liability, deductible and waiting time to assess cybersecurity rules and strategy," says Kaw. However, for compa-nies, factors to consider include the kind of information the organisation gathers or handles, current methods of data storage and backup, and if the company places a high value on confidentiality.