Ghana Insurance Association Holds First Information Technology Conference

Ghana Insurance Association Holds First Information Technology Conference

The Ghana Insurance Association held the maiden edition of the GIA Information Technology Conference on May 24, 2019 at the Mensvic Grand Hotel, Accra.

The conference brought together Managing Directors, Chief Information Officers from various Insurance Companies, IT professionals, representatives from the Ghana Insurance Brokers Association, e-Crime Bureau, cybercrime office of the Ghana police service and interested parties in the insurance industry.

The theme of the conference was, “Emerging Trends, Domain and Impact of Cyber Security Threats on The Insurance Industry”.  The primary focus of this year’s conference was the severity of cyber threats. The desire to be improve customer experience and efficiency of processes is driving industry players to move towards digitization.

However, digitization introduces new threats to data and information of clients, transactions with customers and transactions with other third parties in the financial industry.The conference was commenced with opening remarks from Mr. George Kojo Addison, Chairman/ Convener of the IT Technical Committee. He stated that the insurance sector faces cyber risk from both internal and external sources, including third parties.

It is worth noting that Insurers collect, process and store substantial volumes of data, including identifiable personal information. They are also connected to other financial institutions through multiple channels such as investment, capital raising and debt issuance activities. In this light, the relevance of the conference at this particular time is undebatable.

The conference continued with a presentation from Mr. Philemon Hini, a cyber security expert from e-Crime Bureau. Mr. Hini started his presentation with various case studies of organizations that have been affected by cybersecurity threats. He explained cybersecurity as the convergence of people, processes and technology that come together to protect organizations.

Mr. Hini mentioned that cyber-attacks come in many threatening forms such as viruses, third parties, data breaches and social engineering. Mr. Hini ended his presentation by indicating some solutions to the problem for insurance companies such as integrating periodic insurance risk assessment, designing and implementing security policies such as utilizing encryptions and most importantly, engaging, creating awareness and training employees on cybersecurity threats.

The conference continued with a presentation and a panel discussion on digitizing the customer journey and another presentation on emerging technologies in the insurance industry.  The panel discussion on digitizing the customer journey centered on the difficulty in purchasing insurance products via the internet as opposed to other products such as food and clothes.

Customers find it difficult purchasing insurance products, accessing their documents or making claims. Customer needs are becoming more sophisticated in this digital age. Industry personnel present were entreated to center on digitization when drafting strategies and implementing them amidst the challenges of cost, adaptation and support to successfully implement.
The last activity drew participants’ attention to an introduction to emerging technology in the insurance industry.

The presentation was done by Chegus Info Tech. The presentation mentioned technologies such as Blockchain, which facilitates information sharing across the insurance industry, Robotics, which performs rudimentary tasks, Artificial Intelligence and Business Intelligence tools for gaining insight into customers (KYC), fraud prevention and authentication.  

The Ghana Insurers Association (GIA) hopes to continue this initiative as an annual conference to bring together these industry professionals to deliberate on solutions to the IT challenges within the Insurance industry. The Ghana Insurers Association (GIA) is the Trade Association for all companies licensed to transact insurance and reinsurance business in Ghana.

The Association was registered under the companies code, 1963 Act 179 on May 27th 1988 and was inaugurated by the PNDC member responsible for Finance and Economic Planning, Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu on 7th October 1988.

By Kelvin Quartey

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