Managing risks in the digital age

The unplugged company is history. Should businesses be worried about their own products?

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?  

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Kristine Birk Wagner

Head of Employee Benefits and Motor
Underwriting and Risk Management

Phone: +45 3687 4533
Mobile: +45 2268 4434

Contact Kristine Birk Wagner

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Marianne Wiinblad

Head of Marketing and Business Development

+45 36 87 42 92

+54 20 53 76 56

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