Cyber issues unpacked at InsureTalk18

The final InsureTalk for 2021 – InsureTalk18 – took place on Thursday, 25 November. The theme for the session focused on cybercrime, and speakers brought a variety of viewpoints and opinions to the topic.

The event was headlined sponsored by Santam, with the IISA and Cover magazine joining as event sponsors.

First on the agenda was Andrew Coutts from Santam, who spoke on cybercrime in a digital age. His talk focused on the cost of cybercrime, the value of cyber insurance, the role of the intermediary and Santam’s response to cyber risk.

“Cybercriminals are pocketing an estimated $1,5 trillion annually,” he said. “Cyber has become a bigger threat than terrorism.”

SA is the sixth most exposed country in the world, and 30% of SHA brokers surveyed said they had noticed a marked increase in cyber-related incidents.

Next up was Charl Ueckermann, CEO of AVeS Cyber International. His talk, entitled “The zeros and ones of cyber insurance”, went back to the basics of communication, then zoomed into the specifics of cybercrime.

He spoke about tangible and intangible assets, the types of cyber security components that a company needs to consider (Did you know that an unprotected printer can provide a way into your network for cyber criminals?!), what needs to be protected against what, the value of data on the balance sheet, data breaches, and more.

“There are two types of companies,” he said, “those that are compromised and those that don’t know they are compromised.”

IISA CEO Thokozile Mahlangu then gave her traditional update on IISA matter. Specifically, Thokozile spoke on the 2021 AIE conference, the new IISA Beyond Insurance digital magazine, planning for this year’s AIE on 25 and 26 July (themed “Resurgence. Resilience. Revival.”) and benefits of IISA membership.

Early bird registration for AIE 2022 are open. More info is available here.

Cover magazine editor, Tony van Niekerk, spoke on knowledge sharing in a virtual world. Communication in the past 18 months has been strained thanks to the pandemic. How has the world — and specifically Cover magazine — responded?

“Although people aren’t reading as many books as they used to, their thirst for information seems limitless,” he said. “People no longer read long, informational articles and essays, but may simply skim through to find the pertinent information or the information that is most interesting to them.”

Entertainment was provided by singer/songwriter Reesa, who performed a fabulous medley of his own original songs.

Aon’s Zamani Ngidi was up next. He spoke on data privacy, POPIA and insurance.

“When it comes to cyber, there is no crystal ball,” he said. ” The greatest challenge organisations face is keeping up with and staying informed about the evolving cyber risk landscape. The threats vary widely by industry, size and region.

“Evolving cyber risks and the POPI Act have created a greater awareness of the financial impact of cyber risks and emphasised the need for organisations to increase their understanding of cyber risks.”

Wolfgang Boffo of Munich Re provided a global perspective on cybercrime, with a South African flavour. His talk focused on four key themes from a reinsurance perspective:

  1. Cyber risk — What is it and what is it about?
  2. The current cyber risk landscape — Are trends our friends?
  3. Cyber risk — (Why) is this something for insurance?
  4. Crucial lessons learnt

The question is not if a company or individual will be targeted, but when. Here are the most famous attacks from 2020:

Wolfgang also gave a breakdown of several 2021 attacks in South Africa and provided an overview of the global market.

Simon Campbell-Young of Digimune spoke on digital risk protection. Digital risk is a person or company’s exposure to threats that arise via their digital presence and the information that resides about them online.

He shared several examples of how cyber criminals are able to hack into personal and organisational systems — through social media, registrars, mobile app stores, web marketplaces, forums, blogs, news, reviews, deep web, dark web, email, collaboration forums and code sharing — and how Digimune monitors these hacks in order to mitigate the damage they do.

The final speaker for the day was Deresh Lawangee, CEO of RISE, who spoke on financial freedom in retirement. His talk covered both pre-retirement and post-retirement strategies from an institutional perspective, raising a number of points of interest to investors and financial advisors alike.

Thanks once again to Nonnie Mhlungu of SHA for her commensurate emceeing.


Registration for the next InsureTalk is open! The event takes place on 24 February 2022 from 10am to 1pm. Registered delegates stand a chance to win a R1 000 Takealot voucher, so register today!

And in case you would like to watch a recording of InsureTalk18, you can check it out below. Be sure to contact if you’d like CPD accreditation for watching the session. InsureTalk is accredited with 2.5 CPD hours.