Willis Towers Watson launches suite of cyber assessments to tackle cyber risk

13-01-2021

Global advisory, broking and solutions company Willis Towers Watson has introduced two new cyber risk assessment services in direct response to the findings from its July 2020 “Cyber claims insights report“. The report found that human error (people risk) was the single biggest root cause of global cyber incidents/claims, and ransomware (and the subsequent business interruption) is the most significant risk when considering first-party losses, or in other words, the direct financial costs to businesses.

Introducing the new solutions, Dean Chapman, lead cyber risk consultant, Willis Towers Watson, said: “The cyber claims insight report has been instrumental in supporting our development of a data-driven, client-focused suite of cyber risk assessment services.

“Aligned to our existing cyber insurance and risk transfer capabilities, the new Workforce Cyber Culture Assessment (WCCA) and Ransomware Risk Assessment (RRA) services demonstrate our commitment to supporting clients with tailored solutions to effectively manage risk in a challenging and fast evolving cyber threat environment.”

The WCCA is a cyber risk methodology specifically designed to assess people risk and the impact of business culture in a cyber context. It can work to highlight any perceived high risk attitudes and behaviours within the workforce to cyber risk, such as current working environment and workplace pressures (a critical area in the current economic climate) and assesses the key factors affecting the likelihood and impact of people-related cyber security incidents.

“We have developed these services to assist our clients in focusing their security efforts on addressing two of the most significant cyber risks to businesses.”

It enables Willis Towers Watson to provide clients with focused and concise recommendations for risk reduction as well as a tailored roadmap to support the achievement of a resilient cyber security strategy with measurable and actionable metrics.

The RRA is a custom assessment framework, available for both information technology and operational technology environments, that focuses on what is among the most severe of cyber threats facing organisations globally. The assessment moves beyond technology controls and observes the entirety of a client’s ransomware threat surface across several key risk areas.

The RRA provides clients with a unique, tailored snapshot of their ransomware risk posture, as well as offering a practical and concise improvement plan that is designed to assist with the timely remediation of identified security gaps, exposures or vulnerabilities. The delivery process consists of three simple phases ensuring Willis Towers Watson can provide a complete RRA in as little as three weeks, from start to finish.

Chapman added: “The business impacts associated with people-related security incidents and ransomware attacks are well documented, and both have the potential to be catastrophic from a number of organisational standpoints, including operational, financial and reputational impacts.

“While the two are intrinsically linked—for example a ransomware attack is often initiated via a breach of the ‘human factor’—they require slightly different approaches to risk identification, assessment and management.

“Targeting people is quicker, easier and comes with much higher success rates—cyber criminals need to get lucky only once. For this reason, we have developed these services to assist our clients in focusing their security efforts on addressing two of the most significant cyber risks to businesses today.”

Willis Towers Watson, Report, Cyber Risk, Claims, Risk Management, Insurance, Reinsurance, Dean Chapman, North America

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