Faced with the proliferation of cyber-attacks against businesses, general insurance agents have decided to join law enforcement forces. Last September, Agéa, the consortium that supports these underwriters of some 12,000 insurance agents, signed an “unprecedented partnership” with the National Gendarmerie and the France Assureurs federation to “train and raise public agent awareness of cyber risks.”
Since then, around 500 clients have been trained thanks to the organization of about ten meetings with specialized gendarmes throughout France. Eight more meetings are already scheduled. “The agents are there!” says Pascal Chaplon, president of Agia. “We agents don’t necessarily have a very big culture about these risks, explains the man who also serves as a general agent for AXA in Chalons-sur-Saone. The gendarme allows us to better understand the forms of attacks. This led in 2021 to ‘leadership in cyberspace’ and aims to have 10,000 ‘cyber investigators’ by the end of the year, versus 7,000 in 2021, to follow the hackers’ trail.
Cyber-attacks can potentially lead to significant processing costs, or even shut down a business, and pose a very real threat to VSEs and SMBs, so keep alerting the experts. In the face of this phenomenon, insurance companies are developing specific coverage. Celles-ci peuvent comprendre une assistance technique pour cerner et traiter les cyberattaques, une price en charge des frais de communication vis-à-vis des clients, une compensation de la perte de chiffre d’affaires ou encore le remboursement du paiement éventuel d’ ransom.
Ask the right questions
However, insurance companies have no interest in distributing these covers to companies that are highly vulnerable to cyber attacks. Hence the agents’ interest in a better understanding of computer security issues. “There is no doubt that an agent will become an IT professional, but he must ask the right questions to customers and say, ‘Ask your IT professional to answer me on this specific point,’” explains Pascal Chaplon.
To help agents properly interview their clients, Agéa has offered Inquest (Stelliant Group), a company with expertise in cybersecurity, to participate in agent training meetings. ‘,” explains Tibo Carre, Inquest’s Director of Cyber Security. Lots of elements that should allow for “good insight into the maturity level of customers”.
The awareness approach does not stop at the agents. “The idea is that they crowd and hold awareness-raising meetings on the topic of the Internet,” emphasizes Pascal Chaplin.