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23/02/2015 PROFILE > Chef d'entreprise , Crédit Manager / Gestion des risques , Conseil financier

Cyber insurance, a new priority for company directors

The increase of cybercrime could push leaders of SMEs and ETIs to wonder about the means of protection existing in the face of this new risk. Philippe Gaillard, Director of Technical Risks at Axa Companies, made a point regarding the definition of cyber-risk and its context during an interview for la Tribune.

Cyber-risk will become increasingly present in everyday life. Cyber attacks, such as viruses, are not new since the 2000s, the main attacks being viruses produced by technology pirates who attempted to penetrate systems considered impenetrable. Since 2010, the evolution of cyber-attacks directed towards the Member States and national defences, as well as the development of industrial espionage, attacks between competitors, extortion and fraud, have been noted.

Philippe Gaillard notes that in five years, cyber-attack has accelerated and has taken increasingly diverse forms. Companies of all sizes have been affected by this phenomenon.  .

He distinguishes among the various categories of cyber-attack: sabotage, espionage and criminality.

He emphasises the fact that the cyber-attack is prepared well in advance, with criminals studying the weaknesses of companies which are targeted, and between the moment of intrusion of the virus and of its discovery, which could exceed one year.

 SMEs and ETIs must therefore strengthen three key points: technological systems detecting and eliminating viruses, the information available to, and training of, employees, the resiliency of the company in limiting the possible effects of an attack.

According to the last barometer of Axa Companies, carried out on 500 business managers, the leaders of SMEs and ETIs feel threatened following the latest attacks on large groups. 4-% of them rank cyber-risk among their major concerns. Thus, this subject ,which had not been truly addressed, has become a priority.


This is why certain insurance companies now propose contracts protecting SMEs and ETIs against cyber-risks.