Tech

EPISODE #8

This week we’ll be focussing in on ransomware, whilst we’ve touched on ransomware more generally in a couple of previous episodes, today’s vlog will be honing in recent activity that’s affected our clients. We hope that sharing these recent developments will help give you some clues of what to look out for!

Ransomware is a much talked about topic and is generating a lot of publicity; it’s also something that we see crop up time and time again in our conversations with clients. We’ve actually had two incidents within the last couple of weeks that were very similar; fortunately both didn’t have a serious impact on their businesses. Fortunately our vendors were able to act fast and help mitigate and further nullify any potential losses.

The most recent feedback we have had from our brokers is that even though the threats are very real and very current, not all businesses see the need or think they are vulnerable and are not taking up the cover. In both these cases, we must stress, the businesses were non-digital, they didn’t have e-commerce; they had few digital aspects to their business (online banking, storing of employee data) they were exposed and fell victim. The way that the attack is happening is, the attackers are targeting the HR Department.

Attackers are targeting HR departments, quite simply because they are easy targets. They are used to receiving emails from unknown persons, whether it’s people speaking to them about opportunities within the company or correspondence with other businesses- either way HR are used to clicking on emails from strangers. Therefore, what’s happening is the ransomware email is opened by the unassuming employee, attached is a PDF document and an Excel spreadsheet. Whilst the PDF seems to be benign, the spreadsheet contains the malware designed by the attackers, to begin encrypting all of the files as soon as it is clicked open, asking for a bitcoin payment.

One of our goals and what we really try and work on is; We obviously want to be the insurance solution but as important, if not more, we want to be able to guide them offering them the tools to prevent. We’d much rather add value in that way, helping both you and the client, offering tools and resources through our offering that raises awareness of said potential issues, educating them with the aim on improving their risk management, preventing them from landing themselves in a sticky situation. Of course we’re still also there if it all goes wrong as insurers, but from our perspective it’s equally important to help them prevent as well as protect.

There are quite a few things that the insured can do, whether it’s having the right settings on their G-mail or Outlook, or simply keeping up to date with the right information. We’re always producing new material that contains all of the necessary pointers on what to look out for or what to be mindful of clicking on. We deliver this through our monthly webinars and weekly educational publications.
We wanted to bring this subject your attention, to make sure you keep your eyes open; especially with the high frequency attacks which have occurred over the past week. If you have any questions or want to learn more about the warning signs of malware and ransomware, as always please feel free to get in touch as We always enjoy hearing from you.

Tech

INTERNET OF THINGS & INDUSTRY 4.0 | NODE TV EPISODE #7

Hello and thank you for joining us for episode seven of Node TV. How time flies!

A huge theme over the last few weeks has been our excitement over the digital revolution. What we’re witnessing is incredible; as insurance brokers, underwriters and business intermediaries you’re trying to keep up with, as well as hopefully, trying to adapt and innovate with, is just phenomenal.

In light of that, one of the topics I have been asked about a lot over the last couple of weeks is Industry 4.0. Or more specifically, how we think the upcoming industry revolution is going to affect insurance.

Again it’s about understanding how fortunate we are to be at the very cusp of the industry’s fourth revolution. The first revolution, known topically as ‘The Industrial Revolution’ occurred in the eighteenth-century as the result of the discovery of steam power. Secondly, we have the mass-production revolution, assembly line production powered by electricity in the early twentieth-century. Then, of course most recently the third which kind of covers, the time through from the seventies to the nineties, where we saw the rise of computer and automation.

Now, we’re at the beginning of the fourth, the revolution that experts are referring to as the revolution of cyber physical systems. I think with the change that we are going to witness over the next twenty years, is going to create a very dynamic space within the insurance industry. Naturally, I want insurers to begin to look at this. I think it’s absolutely the right time to look at cyber liability insurance for clients; that’s the things we here about day in day out. That’s the data and the privacy, the business interruption, the infrastructure and network- the general hackable of side of things

But more than that, now is the time to look at the internet of things and the interconnectivity of devices and machines. It’s crucial to understand that with the progression that we are going to see happen over the next twenty years- the internet of things is not going to go away. We speak to insurance brokers all over the world, every single week and we’re constantly reminding them this. As well as doing everything we can to help them find confidence and assist them in discussions with the insured.

Frankly there is a lot of money to be made. We all like to do a deal, but also it’s a necessity, as it isn’t going to go back. We need insurance brokers based in all corners of the world to get informed and to get comfortable discussing the internet of things., the digital revolution and the technology standpoint. We’re at a point where manufacturing, is going to completely change, so it’s important to ground ourselves now.

I was actually reading a really useful study the other day, which has inspired me to collate together run some services off that are most going to be impacted by the industry 4.0. Within all service industries, we’re going to see a complete alteration of their business models. How people look at reliability in their infrastructure, the IT security, the machine safety, the product life-cycle, industry value-chain, work and education skilled economic factors. It’s all going to be turned on its head. I think it’s crucial that everybody starts to address and considers these. They say risk, I say opportunity!

We also believe that certain products around the cyber and ENO are going to have to absolutely change; thus again prompting a complete shift in the way in which we underwrite these types of risk. Perhaps most importantly, the information we will need ourselves, in order to underwrite these risks is going to change.

Whilst it might sound daunting, don’t lose sight of the excitement that comes with change. We’re really excited and hopefully you are and will be too. Get some confidence and start to have the conversations with the insured, as the industry 4.0 gains speed, you will see great benefit from being involved!

Tech

E-GAMING JACKPOT INSURANCE | NODE TV EPISODE #6

This week is a snapshot look into the new and exciting E-gaming sector.

E-gaming is a sector that we’ve really focused our attention on over the last few years and its where we’ve really seen our business grow. It’s one of those areas which has spun out of the digital revolution. Traditional offline gaming has moved online and the sector has really taken off. What makes it so interesting is the room for innovation and development that the sector holds for creating new digital insurance products.

Instead of focussing on cyber or tech products, e-gaming requires thinking outside of the box. One of the coolest things we’ve been developing at Node is solutions to insure the jackpots. Where traditional gaming companies would have typically used ticket based sales to build a jackpot, we have built some very innovative systems around insuring an online jackpot. In particular, we’ve been working with lottery based games, as well as recently moved this blueprint into online slots.

To take a quick look at our solution, it was brilliantly simple. Following the traditional principles of a lottery or slots based game, we found a way to remove the moral hazard by leveraging the latest technologies, in particular the block chain architecture . Also we have deployed older service principles like database mirroring so the bet file was then protected.

If you are a broker out there who deals with the e-gaming sector, please get in touch if you would like more info. You may not be aware of this new approach, moving beyond liability from the platform and instead focussing on the prize fund as well. We think it’s a really exciting approach to take. It’s an entirely new form of insurance!

What’s great about the sector, is that as people evolve in the space and new games and businesses pop up, the insurer is similarly able to grow and innovate, making it one of the most wonderful sectors out there.

Next week, we’ll be heading to the ICE conference at the ExCel in London, so if you’re heading there too, we look forward to seeing you!

Tech

CYBER INSURANCE Q&A | NODE TV EPISODE #5

This week we’d like to share with you our projections for cyber insurance in 2017 and maybe even 2018. We’d also like to talk through some of the new opportunities that are presenting themselves to us here at Node and some new areas that are beginning to offer some exciting new ventures.

To kick things off, let’s have a look at the current field of play and where we think the trends will sit in the next twelve months. It’s a notoriously difficult thing to lock down, simply due to the ever changing and evolving nature of digital risk. Indeed, the level of crime and sophistication of the incidents we are seeing is definitely on the up. These however, are the territories that are creating the most buzz and the most conversations.

One of the biggest current trends is data integrity for business owners. We’re seeing a shift in focus away from not just what data they are holding, but towards how they are holding it and ultimately what they would do in the case of a breach. Conversing from an insurance perspective, that means a stronger focus on what a cyber insurance policy will specifically do to help rectify the problem.

Criminal activity, specifically the ways in which criminals are using and manipulating various infrastructures is also going to continue to grow and be a massive player over the coming year. We’re going to see more disruption by organised crime with them exploiting networks and essentially proving harmful and disruptive to businesses.

As we’ve previously touched on in past posts, spear-phishing and social-engineering are appearing both globally and daily. Again, it’s organised crime and fraudsters specifically targeting businesses. All of the aforementioned are very insurable for now, but their sophistication is going to continue grow and it’s something that we’re really going to have to continue to monitor.

Secondly, we want to share with you the new sectors that we’re being approached by and who are actively looking for a cover that will mitigate risk in their specific areas. Here at Node, we think that this is one of the most fascinating aspects of the what we do. Never in our history are we going to see such a fundamental transformation and transition, like that of the internet and what it has done for trade and commerce. Our exciting part to play is our role in coming up with new solutions for those old infrastructures which have recently updated to new technologies. As they embrace the brilliance of technology, we are able to protect them against the new risks they face.

One of the largest of these, particularly in London, are the marine and aviation sectors. They are typical of businesses who have historically had a very set infrastructure of digital risk. One that has been either a very fixed layer, or simply hasn’t existed at all. Yet now that they are becoming digitally enabled, we are finding that not only do they need to look beyond their current policies in order to cover them. But also that this digital risk, is actually the largest and realest risk they face. As such they need a solid and reliable digital risk insurance solution that will help mitigate against this.

Other sectors that are gathering momentum are the service sector, as it moves towards driverless vehicles, artificial intelligence and drone delivery. The e-gaming industry, where traditional casino customers are moving online and lastly the Internet of Things, which is looking to make huge advances in the next few years.

As all of these industries rely more and more heavily upon digital infrastructures, so will they rely more heavily on digital risk management and cyber insurance.

This week, we’re more interested than ever in hearing your feedback. We’d love to know if there are any big contenders you feel we’ve neglected.

Goodbye for now,
The Team at Node

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