AIG, Dimension Data team up to offer cyber insurance

  • To offer IT security assessment, cyber insurance, tools and best practices
  • Awareness there, but take up still slow; aims to grow this segment
 

AIG, Dimension Data team up to offer cyber insurance

 

FINANCIAL giant American Insurance Group (AIG) Malaysia Bhd has entered into a partnership with IT services vendor Dimension Data Malaysia Sdn Bhd to offer a comprehensive set of cyber security assessment and solution services in a bid to complement the former’s insurance offerings.
 
Speaking to the media after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Kuala Lumpur, Antony Lee, AIG Malaysia’s chief executive officer (CEO), said chief information officers (CIOs) today are aware of cyber insurance and how it operates.
 
“[But] while the awareness is there, the take up rate for cyber insurance is still low,” he argued. “Frequently, what CIOs need is to come up with something so they can get their board C-level  and board members to make decisions.
 
“The combination of having an assessment service provided with the insurance is what they need to be able to make decisions,” he added.
 
The partnership, piloted first in Malaysia, brings together the cyber security capabilities of Dimension Data – which will see the South African-based company providing services to assess the risk level of an organisation’s IT systems – and the insurance coverage of AIG’s CyberEdge product, which provides insurance coverage, access to tools and best practices for the clients to implement.
 
According to Jason Kelly, head of liabilities and financial lines for AIG greater China and Australasia, AIG relies on third party vendors routinely to help the company make security assessments.
 
Typically, Kelly said some of the criteria AIG will look at include individual risk characteristics such as how many locations a client has, what type of business it’s enaged in, and in how many geographic locations it trades in.
 
“Say when we have a breach of data or a claim, we rely on third party vendors to do crises management and forensic work,” Kelly explained. “Dimension Data can help us with this.”
 
Guido Crucq, general manager of security business for Dimension Data Asia Pacific, said that from the client’s perspective, there are two scenarios.
 
“Firstly before they approach AIG to do a security assessment, there is a process to understand their maturity level and to judge how much they want to insure.
 
“Secondly in a managed services scenario, we can conduct operational and real-time threat management for clients as it reduces the risk profile.”
 
Asked how both companies plan to take this service to the market, AIG Malaysia’s Lee said their go-to-market strategy would comprise multiple programmes.
 
“We will work with brokers who will work with corporate clients and we also have our own agents that work on our behalf,” he explained. “We will also host symposiums and industry events so that we can create this awareness.”
 
Dimension Data Malaysia managing director Henrick Choo noted that while clients contractually sign up for the service with AIG, Dimension Data will support them in their marketing activities.

“As a systems integrator in Malaysia, we know a lot of clients who are looking for this kind of service and we’ll be referring them to AIG.”
 
Quizzed on the growth expectations of this service, AIG’s Kelly said the company definitely has an “ambitious plan to grow” but declined to give any specific targets.
 
“Within AIG in Asia Pacific, we have a benchmark to grow [the business] by 25%. I can tell you that in the region, we already have tens of millions of dollars in insurance premium.”
 
According to Dimension Data’s Crucq, there is a huge demand for this as clients want to mitigate their risks. He also revealed that in terms of industries, the uptake of such services is largest in manufacturing and in retail, where the maturity and awareness is growing.
 
“The maturity is greatest in the financial services industry and the public sector but the topics manufacturers and retailers are dealing with are still the same: For example, ‘Where I am now [with my security readiness]? and ‘how to do we get there?’,” he said.

 
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