On February 12, the 5th SCOR Young European Researcher Prize for Research into Alzheimer’s disease was presented to Erik Portelius of Sweden’s Gothenburg University, for his findings on a new biomarker that enables earlier detection of the condition.
Each year, SCOR rewards the best academic work in the field of actuarial science with prizes in several countries. Designed to promote actuarial science, to develop and encourage research in this field and to contribute to the improvement of risk knowledge and management, these prizes are recognized as a mark of excellence in the insurance and reinsurance industries. From October to December 2017, the SCOR Actuarial Awards were held in five countries: France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK.
In his presentation “Cyber risks, where we are”, Sébastien Héon, Deputy Chief Underwriting Officer at SCOR Global P&C, analyzes the impact on the insurance industry of the increasing threat posed by cyber attacks.
Last year saw a growing number of cyber attacks, confirming the increasing presence of cyber risk and its highly disruptive potential. According to Sébastien Héon, Deputy Chief Underwriting Officer at SCOR Global P&C, this trend is here to stay. During his presentation titled “Cyber risks, where we are” at the SCOR Conference 2017, Héon explained that the best way to deal with this risk is through risk management. Because of its technical complexity, cyber risk is generally handled by IT departments. “But cyber risk is not about IT”, he said, “it is about process, about management, about strategy, about digital transformation”. It should be addressed globally throughout companies.
The impact of cyber-attacks over the past few months has exceeded expectations. One of the characteristics of cyber risk is that it threatens intangible assets – it can break reputations, destroy R&D, and reduce share value. This means that new tools are needed, not only to value these assets but also to protect them.
The biggest problem for the market development of cyber insurance lies in accumulation risk. Both the highly mediatized WannaCry and Petya attacks impacted companies in various sectors and various parts of the world. For instance, WannaCry’s victims include institutions and companies in health, the car industry, the telecommunications sector and many others, in the UK, the US, France, Southern Europe and elsewhere. According to Héon, for an insurance company “there is no magic solution to protect against such risk”. He said that the first step is to clarify contracts, in order to determine exactly what kind of cyber risk is covered, and that it could also be useful in the long run to identify the supply chains of all clients, to check if they use the same IT infrastructure, the same IT provider, the same operating systems, and so on.
Sébastien HÉON, Deputy Chief Underwriting Officer at SCOR Global P&C