While our increasingly connected world is beginning to provide unthinkable opportunities, we must not forget that with it, comes an even greater responsibility. In the past year, we have seen self-driving cars, security systems connected to smartphones and technology that tracks livestock, pets and even bees. Our children play with toys that are connected to the internet and we can make online purchases with our fingerprint. These groundbreaking technologies help make our lives both accessible and safe. However, there are plenty of people who use these same technologies to terrorize, scare and steal from innocent people around the world.
Recently, ‘white hat’ hackers have been hired to expose weaknesses in these luxuries that we use every day. We have found out that the new Hello Barbie Doll can be hacked to listen to your daughter’s conversations. The camera in laptops and Smart TVs can be taken over remotely to watch families in their own home. There are endless ways for hackers to use this technology to commit unthinkable acts of crime and as a result, it is necessary that we must understand our vulnerability. Mark Breading, a partner at Strategy Meets Actions, gives several suggestions to help keep us safe from cyber-villains:
- Loss control must increasingly consider cyber safety: “Individuals and businesses need advice on how to protect their valuable digital information, related to both traditional and new sources.”
- The industry must actively participate in cyber initiatives: “New technology defenses, law enforcement approaches and regulation will all play a role in thwarting hackers. Insurers should provide expertise, investment and support to advance important initiatives.”
- Cyber risk insurance must greatly expand: “The industry has done a yeoman’s job thus far in helping to address financial exposures. But now, whole new classes of cyber threats must be evaluated and addressed.”
- Insurers must consider their own growing cyber vulnerabilities: “As companies employ drones, IoT [internet of things] devices and wearables for employees, they must understand and address the potential exposures from theft of the related information.”