#CyberFLASH: Insurance Institute of Canada report encourages p&c organizations to build cyber resiliency; cites business opportunity in expanding coverage

aCanadian property and casualty insurance organizations should bolster the defences of their organizations and those of their clients against cyber threats by developing a culture of cyber security, recommends a new research report issued Tuesday by the Insurance Institute of Canada (IIC).

“Insurance organizations are encouraged to build a corporate culture of cyber security that includes actions to address technological threats and security training for employees,” notes an IIC statement announcing the release of Cyber Risks: Implications for the Insurance Industry in Canada, which assesses cyber risk from the perspective of the Canadian p&c insurance industry.

The research report cites a study by Intel’s McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Net Losses: Estimating the Global Cost of Cybercrime, which estimates the global cost of cyber crime in 2013 at US$375 billion to US$575 billion. “The global impact of cyber crime is similar to estimates by the United Nations of the international production, trafficking and sales of illicit drugs (US$400 billion) and the worldwide damage resulting from vehicle collisions (US$518 billion),” states the report.

According to the report, the most common forms of cyber attacks were theft and other data attacks, malware (phishing and pharming) and mechanisms to infect computers (viruses, worms, Trojan horses). The report notes that in 2013, the 3,700 clients of IBM’s Managed Security Services experienced seven or eight cyber incidents each month, on average. About half of those attacks – including scams to steal credit card information, website vandalism, corporate espionage and denial-of-service attacks – were directed at the manufacturing (27%) and financial services (21%) industries.

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#CyberFLASH: Canadians Anticipate Connected World in 2025, Have Concerns About Security and Privacy

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Canadian consumers believe that technology will significantly change their lifestyle by 2025.

This is according to McAfee Canada, part of Intel Security, which recently released findings from its first Safeguarding the Future of Digital Canada in 2025 study. The study looks at how technology relates to people’s homes, workplace, cars, mobile devices and online security.

For example, 51 percent of Canadians believe their houses will be able to speak to them; 70 per cent anticipate using solar panels as their main source of energy; and 56 per cent predict there will be cars that navigate completely on autopilot.

However, Canadians may feel hesitant in sharing personal information or adapting to these technologies in fear of their privacy being jeopardized. 66 per cent of Canadians expressed concern over the expected state of cyber security in 2025.

Canadians know that as technology advances, more of their everyday devices will be connected to the Internet, said Brenda Moretto, Canadian consumer manager at McAfee. “While they believe this will simplify some aspects of their lives, they’re also concerned about how their security and privacy will be protected,” he said.

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Cybercrime-as-a-service on the rise: McAfee

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Who’s going to be the next cyber attacker your organization will be guarding against?

It could be a state-backed hacking group, a cyber syndicate or a cyber activist. But there’s also a good chance that it could even be a non-tech-savvy individual whose hacking skills are limited to downloading apps from the Web, according to Raj Samani, chief technology officer of McAfee Inc. for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“It’s gotten to the point where any person, without any IT skills whatsoever, could simply purchase a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) from Google and launch it against any target,” said Samani, who co-authored the whitepaper report Cybercrime Exposed: Cybercrime-as-a-Service with McAfee Labs senior research engineer Francois Paget. “When we were writing this paper, we knew it wasn’t new, but once we got started, we couldn’t believe the breadth of service available on the Web.”

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NYC law firm files $1.1M lawsuit against Vancouver cyber security expert

 Vancouver’s Arthur Wesley Kenzie is a self-styled cyber security expert and mobile app developer who’s now accused of using his high-tech skills for nefarious pursuits.

Kenzie is the target of a $1.1-million lawsuit filed by a prominent New York City law firm claiming Kenzie, the managing director at Securikai, intended to extort the company by poking holes in its online security.

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