“Data Is the New Oil of the Digital Economy. Data in the 21st Century is like Oil in the 18th Century”. That is a common phrase these days that most people probably take for granted, but it is real. I am still looking around to find out who coined the phrase. To understand this fully, one need to look at the valuation of some of the data driven companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram. I really like the statement recently made by Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani at the India Mobile Congress “data is the new oil and India does not need to import it. We have it in super abundance and we have to ensure every Indian has access to it.” Just like India, the same applies to Kenya, we have the data and we don’t need to import it. The only question is, are we taking the advantage of it to move ahead. The best example in Kenya is Safaricom, whose success is purely data driven.
It is on that regard that it was a bit surprising to learn at the AON cyber risk event that up to yesterday there was no insurance policy for the data in the country. Something that AON is trying to correct, by the launch of Cyber Enterprise Solution. According to AON Cyber Enterprise Solution is a property/casualty and Internet of Things insurance policy that offers comprehensive and integrated enterprise-wide coverage against cyber risk. The solution is intended to protect organizations against catastrophic cyber risk
The policy provides comprehensive cyber risk cover, including cover for property damage arising out of a network security breach; products liability to address Internet of Things exposures; business interruption and extra expense coverage arising out of systems failure; contingent network business interruption for IT vendors and the supply chain; cyber terrorism coverage; privacy/security liability and event expense coverage; and media liability and technology errors and omissions by endorsement.
Looking back to the current situation in the world as well as what has been going on in Kenya, AON is spot on in coming up with this solution. The reflection of the AON CEO Sammy Muthui underscored this:
“Data is an organization’s most valuable asset but it’s also most vulnerable asset. However, as businesses and companies grow, so do their exposure to cyber risk. This simply means that as the value of a business grows, it raises its profile among hackers. The launch of our new Cyber Risk Solution underlines our commitment to provide cover for the wave of new and emerging risks that worry risk managers the most. Our simplified policy wording and holistic approach to risk management and incident response means clients and brokers can feel confident about what they are getting,”
I totally agree with him. Unfortunately, during the AON cyber risk event the speakers steered clear of the local examples. It is well and good to talk about the global figures and the things happening in US but for the local companies to understand the risk facing them, then it is high time we start being open about what is going on in Kenya. For example, it estimated that Kenyan financial institutions lose a lot of money every year due to cyber criminals. But it is hard to find an open discussion about the problem.
Yes, we have some local stats and figures based on different surveys like the one by ICT Security survey conducted by Kenya National Bureau of statistics and Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) which found out that Kenya lost Sh.18 Billion due to cybercrime in 2016. First, that is huge and should worry the public and the private sectors a like. Still my problem with such stats is that they do not narrow down to which companies suffered that losses and why or how. Just knowing that it is due to cybercrime is not informative enough for the public and other companies who like to prepare against that.