Briefing: Biba Conference likely to see technology top the agenda

In a landmark move, the UK has taken a bold step against the evolving threat of cyber-attacks with the introduction of pioneering legislation aimed at bolstering the security of smart devices. The government’s initiative, a first of its kind globally, mandates manufacturers to implement stringent safeguards on any device capable of connecting to the internet – from the ubiquitous smartphones and gaming consoles to the more innocuous smart refrigerators. This legislative push underscores a growing concern over the vulnerability of our increasingly interconnected world to sophisticated cyber threats.

An alarming investigation shed light on the shocking susceptibility of smart homes to international cyber-attacks, uncovering attempts to infiltrate just five devices with weak passwords more than 2,684 times in a week. This stark revelation has jolted insurers and brokers alike, making the safety of technology and the perils it faces a critical talking point for the imminent Biba Conference happening this May in Manchester.

The spotlight at the Biba Conference, set for the 15th and 16th of May, is expected to shine brightly on cyber risks – a concern underscored as the paramount hazard in Biba’s manifesto earlier this year. To empower brokers with the necessary tools and insights to navigate this digital minefield, a dedicated cyber risk hub is slated to debut at the event, marking a significant stride towards tackling these challenges head-on.

As the conference approaches, anticipation builds among brokers eager to delve into discussions around crafting innovative insurance products tailored to cyber risks. They are also on the lookout for commitments from insurers regarding their dedication to this emerging risk category. The industry is seeking to understand available capacities and the conditions under which coverage can be extended.

On the flip side, insurers are casting a wider net, considering the comprehensive impact of technological advancements on both the domestic and corporate fronts. Beyond the menace of cybercrime, the swift pace of tech evolution threatens to revamp the risk paradigm entirely. The immediate focus for underwriters is educating the market about these emerging threats, ensuring that all stakeholders are on the same page regarding the implications of new technologies.

Brokers and their clientele are bracing for a tide of new information requests and inquiries from insurers, designed to capture the essence of risks introduced by new technologies. This marks a shift towards a more informed underwriting process that takes into account the complexities of the modern tech landscape. Though some of these risks might not yet be on the radar of many businesses, the need for increased awareness and proactive risk management is clear.

This period of adjustment is not about confrontation but collaboration. As the industry prepares for the Biba Conference, there’s a collective effort to bridge the knowledge gap, ensuring that emerging risks such as cyber vulnerabilities and the proliferation of lithium-ion batteries are thoroughly understood and adequately mitigated. As we look towards the future, the conversations at this year’s Biba Conference are set to lay the groundwork for a more resilient, tech-savvy insurance market.

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