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Iranian insurers offering cyber protection amid surge in data use

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Head of an Iranian regulator says cyber insurance would be available in the country by March 2021.

Iran’s insurance sector will provide cyber theft protection services for a first time this year amid a surge in online activities during the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and the increased risk of exposure to data breaches for businesses and individuals.

Director general of Iran’s Central Insurance Organization Gholamreza Soleimani said on Thursday that cyber insurance will be available in the country by the end of the current calendar year in late March 2021.

“This cyber insurance is being implemented in our country and its by-laws are being compiled,” Soleimani was quoted as saying by IRIB News.

The official said that companies will be insured against cyber attacks and hacks that could compromise their data systems.

The launch of the service comes amid efforts in the Iranian insurance sector, the largest in the Middle East region, to diversify products and implement programs that would prevent losses during the spread of the coronavirus.

It also comes as the use of data services in Iran has significantly increased since the start of the pandemic in late February.

Experts believe the increased use of online services in Iran would lead to the creation of thousands of small and medium sized companies that are technologically weak and prone to hacks and attacks.

Soleimani did not elaborate on more details about the new cyber insurance scheme, including which insurer would provide the service and how claims and premiums will be calculated.

However, Iranian insurance companies themselves have significantly increased digital services during the pandemic as selling some mandatory policies have been restricted to websites to minimize contacts between brokers and buyers.

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