PwC and financial service thinktank CSFI, which tracked the opinions of insurance leaders in 39 territories, revealed widespread fears that artificial intelligence could be used as a powerful new weapon to breach insurers’ security. State-sponsored agents launching cyber attacks is also seen as a particular risk.
On top of the potential damage caused by cybercrime, insurers fear the potential mounting costs involved in mitigating attacks. Insurance leaders worry that investing in cyber defence could become more challenging as the industry’s IT ecosystem expands through the growth of internet-connected devices and increased reliance on cloud and third-party services, the research found.
“For large-scale insurers, the prospect of a serious cyber attack is daunting, especially as organisations rightly look to new digital solutions to promote efficiencies, improve customer engagement and shore up the critical bottom line,” said PwC insurance partner Andy Moore. “The challenge for insurers is that as their businesses become more complex – with new hardware, cloud computing and third-party services in longer supply chains – cyber vulnerabilities unfortunately increase.
“Criminals are becoming more adept at monetising their breaches and, with the prospect of sensitive customer data leaks, the insurance sector has to be resilient to cyber attacks as a core requirement; cyber security being less a ‘bolt on’ and more designed into the business architecture.”
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