Alexander Gospodinov, head of the Cyber Insurance project of Lev Ins, on how to secure your information and business in the most effective way
Alexander Gospodinov has studied finances and was planning to develop in the financial industry. Somewhere along his career path, he chose to advance his knowledge about insurance further as he was viewing it as major part of the financial sector.
Since then, he has been working in the Insurance field for 5 years focusing mostly on projects that touch upon the insurance innovations. Observing the digital environment we all live in, Alexander Gospodinov acquired an interest in cybersecurity. After realizing that in both our professional and personal lives our digital assets have become our most valuable assets, he decided to focus his efforts on cyber insurance.
What are the tendencies in cyber crime that you observe in a world recovering from the pandemic?
The pandemic caused by the coronavirus accelerated the process of digitalization. We witnessed that for the past 1 year and a half. Working from home or holding meetings from distance trough platforms such as Zoom, Webex, Teams and others, is the everyday life of people all over the world, moreover, it is something standard nowadays.
Even with the fact that the coronavirus sitation worldwide is getting better due to the vaccines, the tendency is that most of the people will continue working from home as this is more cost effective for entrepreneurs. Everything is becoming digital and the cyber criminals are more active than ever. The digital assets are the new “liquid gold” for the hackers.
Statistics from globally recognized companies show that phishing has increased by over 700% in 2020 compared to 2019and for 2021, the tendencies are even more terrifying. The average financial loss for a company that has been a victim of cyber attack amounts to an average of USD3 million. It is even more worrying that regular people and the micro and small business that were not on the radar of the hackers in the past now are on the radar. Many people are affected by identity theft and even more micro and small business are victims and suffered financial loss or got out of business due to phishing or ransomware.
Which industries are most affected?
Most of today's industries could be victims of a cyber crime, due to the fact that technologies are inseparable part of their business. Of course, the sequences are different for each company and that is the reason for us to develop a unique rating model for evaluating the risk exposure of every customer. We saw that many different industries with different sizes have been affected. Those can be ranging from critical infrastructure sectors all the way to the regular SME.
Can small businesses and regular people also become victims of a cyber attack?
For the past several years of exponential increase of cyber crimes, the problem is no longer reserved for the large corporations. On a daily basis, more and more small and medium companies are suffering from issues with their cybersecurity. Of course, the vectors of the attacks are different, but the consequences are even worse, because the analysis proves that most of the small and medium business cannot handle with cybersecurity incidents, and for them is even possible to get out of business. When it comes to regular people, the main problems everybody could face are identity thefts, accounts compromise, credit/debit cards financial loses. Almost everybody who is using email services can give an example for phishing cases when someone was trying to steal their information. The criminals are also advanced and the phishing is becoming better and better.
What are the advantages of the insurance solutions provided by Lev Ins?
Following the Israeli model of active security, developed and implemented for over 25 years, the main focus of Lev Ins’s solutions is the prevention. In the digital world, the prevention model is even more valid. That is the reason for the company to develop its own Security Operation Center (SOC), which gives us the opportunity to position ourselves as a partner of our customers in terms of risk management in cybersecurity. Both Lev Ins and its customers are interested in managing the cyber risk in the best possible way and that is why we are combining cybersecurity services with insurance coverage delivering a complex solution.
How long does the process of risk analysis and signing up a policy continue? Is it complicated?
The process of risk analysis and underwriting a policy can take anywhere between 2 hours up to 5 days based on the sphere of activity of the Insured. Considering the exposure of the Insured so far, on average conducting risk assessment and underwriting cyber insurance takes approximately 1 business day. The process is fairly simple - the Insured is filling out a questionnaire and on its basis, the dedicated underwriter is providing a proposal to the Insured. If the Insured faces any obstacles with filling out the questionnaire, the Cyber Insurance department will assist the Insured for that as well as for any other matter.