Being connected to the internet is another day at work. Nothing special at all. But...
Kristine Birk-Wagner is Head of Casualty & Marine Cargo at If. She has headed the development of the new cyber insurance and is heading If ’s Cyber Competence Centre. She talks about the challenges faced by the interconnected company.
You deal with businesses from all in dustries.
What is the most important change you have noted in recent years?
Like others, I think the shift from a physical to a more connected or digital world is one of the major changes. This shift has consequences we have not yet grasped. Not only do we transfer data and knowledge across international borders, but also through methods and across me dia that we have not thought of as be ing communicative before.
Now someone can use – or misuse - your own interconnected products to carry out a DoS (Denial of Service) attack on your company website. Such a scenario, I would assert, had not been considered by many people five years ago.
In what way are digital risks or disruptions a challenge?
Actually, they are a challenge from different angles. Companies face disruption to their production because of criminal acts such as hacking – as we saw last summer with NotPetya – which led to multinational companies being unable to process orders for parts of their busi ness for several days.
Another angle is dis ruption due to errors that are not related to criminal acts. Right now we are see ing disruption to the supply chain, where we experience companies or their suppli ers not being able to deliver or deliver on time due to Denial of Access as a conse quence of natural hazards or bankruptcy.
Why is communication between physical products a risk to businesses?
Companies have to focus on securing communication lines not only between people, but also between products – an example is your mobile phone commu nicating with the heating system in your cabin. Products are often tested for their intended purpose and are proved to work.
However, we must also focus on the mis use and vulnerability that is uncovered long after the product was made. It is a challenge to ensure that products com municate and interconnect safely and that we have a long-term commitment to maintaining the security during a prod ucts’ life cycle.
We have understood that we need to secure our communication with people, but will we be good enough at ensuring the security of the communi cation between products that are active on a global market in five years?