As a cyber insurance professional, I start every year planning what we, as an organization, are going to do to provide new and innovative cyber solutions for our customers. As part of this planning, we also must consider what challenges we will face in the year ahead. In January we were focused on two challenges that our customers would be facing in 2020. The first was the new regulation coming out of California, the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) and the second was the increase in ransomware events, including in frequency and severity of ransom demands. We did not plan for or foresee the actual greatest challenge of 2020 – a global pandemic.
The challenges faced by all of us in 2020 have been unprecedented in our lifetime. Larger than anything we face at work is concern for the health of ourselves and others, economic concerns, childcare concerns, employment concerns and an overall stress of the unknown future ahead of us. Despite the personal and professional challenges we have faced this year, the challenges we anticipated that our cyber customers would face have also marched forward, with the enforcement of the CCPA as of July 1 and the continued increase in ransomware attacks (exacerbated by the extreme reliance on connectivity caused by the work from home orders in many states). Our concerns from January have not disappeared; if anything, they have been highlighted by the need to continue business operations and to keep employees and customers connected during this time. The recently released World Economic Forum publication Regional Risks for Doing Business 2020 still cites cyber attacks as one of the top risks, with only unemployment and fiscal crisis as more concerning.
Our teams at Zurich have stayed focused on our commitment to our customers including helping them with cyber concerns and events. With so many things that our customers need to worry about right now, we look to help ease the burden with our cyber insurance solutions and our cyber risk engineering services. We are focused more than ever on educating our customers on what to do in the event of a cyber attack and have been working with the FBI and other industry groups to assist with outreach and improve our customer’s security posture.
We continue to look for further ways to engage with our customers and educate them on cyber threats. During Cyber Security Awareness Month, Zurich is hosting a roundtable discussion on October 28 with a Special Agent from the FBI Cyber Division to address recent trends in ransomware and other cyber threats, as well as ways to help reduce risk and build cyber resilience. Additionally, our Zurich North America Head of Cyber Risk Engineering, Gerry Kane, released a podcast on cyber risks of remote working during Coronavirus. Despite the challenges that are still ahead of us, both personal and professionally, cyber threats are only going to continue to develop and it’s going to be more important than ever that we aligned on improving resilience and preventing the impact of cyber events for Zurich customers.