PIA and The PIA Partnership Unveil Winning@Cybersecurity DefenseFebruary 15, 2022
WASHINGTON — The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) and its carrier council The PIA Partnership have created Winning@Cybersecurity Defense to help agents understand cyber risks and act on them.
There is a heightened and growing concern about the full range of cyber risks, which have been increasing exponentially. Cyber perils outrank COVID-19 as the top global business risk in 2022 according to the Allianz Risk Barometer annual survey of CEOs, risk managers, brokers and insurance experts. Respondents to the 2022 NU/PIA Independent Agent Survey, when asked to rate their concerns about serving clients online, cited data security/privacy compliance as their top concern (64%).
“In many respects, cyberattacks are the pandemic of technology,” said PIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mike Becker. “A cyberattack is lethal, destructive and can infect systems that are not protected. They can have devastating long-term effects, especially for small businesses. Ransomware, phishing, and data breaches can cost insurance agencies hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“It is critical that all business owners realize the magnitude of the threat and take action. That’s why PIA and The PIA Partnership created Winning@Cybersecurity Defense, a comprehensive program to help independent insurance agents protect themselves and fight back,” Becker said.
What is Winning@Cybersecurity Defense?
Winning@Cybersecurity Defense is a four-step comprehensive resource created to educate agents and their clients about the most common cyber dangers faced by small and mid-sized businesses as well as the business practices and insurance coverages that can reduce these risks. It also includes materials agents can share with their clients to help them understand their cyber exposure and the benefits of purchasing a cyber policy for their businesses.
Divided into four parts, agents can take a customized approach and tackle the sections in any order.
Cyber Risk A to Z introduces agents to the most common threats: fraudulent funds transfer, ransomware, social engineering, cyber business interruption, data breach and privacy, network security and website media liability. It includes examples and quizzes to test understanding.
Cyber Risk Insurance Protection provides information about what insurance covers, how to sell it, what questions to ask customers, and programs to consider.
Cyber Risk Assessment
One of the key steps for an agency is doing a detailed assessment of its own cyber risks. In partnership with long-time PIA advocate, Thomas H. Wetzel, agencies can obtain a low-cost cyber risk assessment designed specifically for them.
Cyber Resources for Your Agency
This section provides a variety of tools and vendors to help agents protect their agencies and customers. Featured are: custom assessments, security tips, employee training, password management, antivirus protection, business recovery plans, vendor management, having a security mindset and much more.
Comments From Agents
The development process for Winning@Cybersecurity Defense included three focus groups to discuss agent issues and concerns, as well as a series of beta tests. Feedback from agents guided program development. Comments from agents included:
“I’m scared to death of getting hacked. It could wipe out the business.”
“The risk is huge if it happens to you. We’ve had clients that have been breached, the costs have been astronomical. It’s important for people to really understand what can happen.”
“[Customers] hear stories about cyber breaches and social engineering, but it hasn’t happened to them. The industry needs to do a better job of highlighting the cyber claims.”
“I’ve seen a huge uptick in phishing. I mean they’re really good. They are really, really good. I mean, they design emails that look like they’re coming from my hometown. My staff is getting hit with these as well.”
Cyber risk is not a new topic for the PIA, which has been focused on cyber issues for a long time through its Cyber 101 program, originally launched in 2017. The new Winning@Cybersecurity Defense will replace the Cyber 101 program.
To learn more about Winning@Cybersecurity Defense visit: www.pianational.org/cybersecurity.
About The PIA Partnership
The PIA Partnership is a joint effort of leading insurance carriers and PIA to develop hands-on tools for PIA members and agents appointed by Partnership carriers. To learn more about the PIA Partnership visit: www.thepiapartnership.com.
PIA would like to thank the PIA Partnership companies that helped to develop Winning@Cybersecurity Defense: Encompass Insurance, Erie Insurance, Liberty Mutual, Foremost, National General Insurance, Progressive Insurance, Selective Insurance Group, State Auto Insurance Companies, The Hanover Insurance Group, Travelers, and West Bend Mutual Insurance Company. Learn more about The PIA Partnership at www.ThePIAPartnership.com.
Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes, and businesses. PIA’s web address is www.pianational.org.