The mystery land of Cyber Insurance-1: Overcome the “All is Well syndrome”

At naavi.org, we have been discussing the issues of Cyber Crimes and Cyber Law since 1998. After initial years of focus on Cyber  Laws, we moved to discussing the proactive defense in the form of Techno Legal Information Security and Cyber Law Compliance.

Recently, we have moved into discussion on  “Cyber Dispute Resolution” in the form of ADR/ODR.

Along with this we need to also devote some attention on “Cyber Insurance” since it engulfs all other aspects of Cyber Security which we have discussed so far in the different niche areas.

A few months back, Naavi initiated an all India survey on Cyber Insurance to document the current status of the Cyber Insurance industry in India, along with a few other like minded persons. Some aspects of this survey has been shared in some of the earlier articles.

Naavi has been a strong advocate for developing Cyber Insurance industry in India since atleast a decade but the response of the industry has been luke warm. It is only in the last three years that some Insurance companies have been seriously talking of Cyber Insurance. However the user industry is still not keen on adoption since there is a mismatch between the expectations of the Insurers and the user  industries regarding the coverage and cost.

It was one of the objectives of the survey that we bring a focus on the industry so that both the service offeror and the potential customer of the insurance products understand what is on the table.

It was known that the current knowledge of the product in the user industry would be low and hence the response on the survey also would be low. At the same time, it was also known that the insurers were few and would not like to share their views in a survey. Despite this known handicap we went about the survey trying to contact over 1000 information security professionals to elicit responses through e-mail. Finally, we had a small sample of 50 who gave the complete response and had to settle for closing the survey though the initial target aimed was at least 100..

During the time of the survey and before, I have also personally tried to draw the attention of the decision makers upto Prime Minister Mr Modi as well as Mr Raghuram Rajan the Governor of RBI through all known means to make Cyber Insurance concept a part of their policy initiatives.

However, it was regrettable to note that neither the visionary Mr Modi nor the much acclaimed economist Governor Rajan seemed to appreciate the importance of even initiating a preliminary discussion on Cyber Insurance.

Mr Modi introduced and pushed some insurance products for farmers and rural folk in the form of Crop insurance and low cost life insurance. However, he failed to respond to the need of Cyber Insurance though his other programs on “Digital India” are increasing the Cyber Risk even for the rural folk at an alarming rate.

Similarly, Mr Raghuram Rajan is increasingly driving RBI policies on technology to the use of high risk Mobile and Social Media platforms without a corresponding protection either in the form of increased information security initiatives or Cyber Insurance. Naavi urged RBI to make Cyber Insurance mandatory for new Banks being licensed, but RBI would take no such initiative.

We also have to take on record that the Union Ministry of IT under Mr Ravishankar Prasad and the CERT-IN have also been completely oblivious to the increasing Cyber Risks and the need for Cyber Insurance.

It was also observed that the insurance regulator and the top insurance industry players also did not respond to many of the approaches made by the undersigned either to start discussing the subject in their forum or to actively participate in the survey. In fact I was surprised that the Insurance industry leaders were still grappling with the problem of using IT in Insurance industry rather than providing insurance cover against Cyber Crimes. The industry leaders are at least 10 to 15 years behind the current market developments and are not expected to be able to understand the requirements of the Cyber Insurance industry for long time to come. The few companies who have started offering Cyber Insurance policies are only reproducing the policies of their international partners. This represents a very depressing state of affairs in the Insurance industry for whom Cyber Insurance could be a huge opportunity.

(P.S: I would be glad to be challenged on these comments and welcome industry players to raise their objection if any)

In the light of this all round apathy on protecting the interests of Netizens who are every day bombarded with news of Cyber Crimes and losses in E-Banking and M-Banking, it is left to a few individuals such as the undersigned to continue their mission on educating the market on the need for Cyber Insurance with the hope that some day others will wake up from their slumber.

In this endeavour, I would like to share the detailed findings through a series of forthcoming articles so that more people would be interested in the subject.

The objective of unraveling this series of articles is to enhance the understanding of the subject of Cyber Insurance amongst Netizens so that sooner or later they start pressurizing the institutions to introduce cyber insurance as a standard warranty to their products.

We hope that Mr Modi’s team will wake up from their “All is Well Syndrome” and start working on Cyber Insurance along with the Digital India and Smart City programs.

……..This is Naavi’s proposition to BJP/NDA in the eve of their review of  “Two years in Governance”

…..Watch out for more in the coming articles….

Naavi

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About Vijayashankar Na

Naavi is a veteran Cyber Law specialist in India and is presently working from Bangalore as an Information Assurance Consultant. Pioneered concepts such as ITA 2008 compliance, Naavi is also the founder of Cyber Law College, a virtual Cyber Law Education institution. He now has been focusing on the projects such as Secure Digital India and Cyber Insurance
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1 Response to The mystery land of Cyber Insurance-1: Overcome the “All is Well syndrome”

  1. Advocate Mahendra Limaye says:

    CYBER INSURANCE ,even if it is presently understood by I T companies, they see it as WHITE ELEPHANT rather than as an integral part of their day to day activity.
    Like any other Insurance,it is provision for contingencies of future and without any Legal Sanctity it won’t be voluntarily undertaken by any companies in INDIA.

    The awareness efforts are bearing no fruits and which is very well judged by you that Any efforts ahead of time are difficult to be understood.
    The sad part of it is that GREAT VISIONARIES like PM or RBI GOVERNOR are turning blind eye to this important issue.

    Is there any reason for this????

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