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Zurich Canada CEO joins cyber panel at Conference of Montreal

June 17, 2019

saad cyber conferenceZurich Canada CEO Saad Mered last week joined a panel of distinguished leaders in finance and cyber risk for a discussion about cybersecurity and its continued threat to financial stability.

Mered and three other panelists took the stage June 10 at the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montreal.

“Embracing change” was the theme for the 25th edition of the Conference of Montreal, and the evolving risk of cybersecurity challenged attendees to consider how their organizations should respond and adapt to—and embrace—this change.

The panelists addressed a series of questions about cybersecurity, including how their organizations are defending against cyberattacks, what businesses fear about cyber threats, what solutions exist, and what role cooperation and collaboration can play to improve cybersecurity.

Asked what companies should fear most from a cybersecurity breach, Mered said lost customers, lost reputation, lost revenue and lost confidence from shareholders. He added that for global companies, a cyberattack could impact their facilities around the world, bringing everything to a halt. So, business interruption is a major concern.

While insurance can help lessen the financial blow of a cyber breach, businesses must adopt a mindset of resilience rather than just protection. Those businesses that identify all possible risks and have an action plan in place will prove most resilient, and quickly get back to meeting the expectations of their customers and their shareholders.

This involves having an incident response plan in place that is well designed and practiced. If an incident occurs, there must be a clear sequence of events to minimize the reputational risk.

Joining Mered on the panel were: Betsy Nelson, chief risk officer, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Rob Leslie, founder and CEO, Sedicii; and Don. L. Anderson, vice-president and CIO, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The panel was moderated by Tyson Johnson, COO, CyberNB.