Was ist das eigentlich? Cyberrisiken verständlich erklärt

Es wird viel über Cyberrisiken gesprochen. Oftmals fehlt aber das grundsätzliche Verständnis, was Cyberrisiken überhaupt sind. Ohne diese zu verstehen, lässt sich aber auch kein Versicherungsschutz gestalten.

Beinahe alle Aktivitäten des täglichen Lebens können heute über das Internet abgewickelt werden. Online-Shopping und Online-Banking sind im Alltag angekommen. Diese Entwicklung trifft längst nicht nur auf Privatleute, sondern auch auf Firmen zu. Das Schlagwort Industrie 4.0 verheißt bereits eine zunehmende Vernetzung diverser geschäftlicher Vorgänge über das Internet.

Anbieter von Cyberversicherungen für kleinere und mittelständische Unternehmen (KMU) haben Versicherungen die Erfahrung gemacht, dass trotz dieser eindeutigen Entwicklung Cyberrisiken immer noch unterschätzt werden, da sie als etwas Abstraktes wahrgenommen werden. Für KMU kann dies ein gefährlicher Trugschluss sein, da gerade hier Cyberattacken existenzbedrohende Ausmaße annehmen können. So wird noch häufig gefragt, was Cyberrisiken eigentlich sind. Diese Frage ist mehr als verständlich, denn ohne (Cyber-)Risiken bestünde auch kein Bedarf für eine (Cyber-)Versicherung.

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Avaya-Nortel Confirms Product Road Map, Will Preserve Data Portfolio

It will also maintain Nortel's data networking portfolio, offer VARs both Nortel and Avaya options for SMB-centric IP and unified communications suites, and will decide on its future distributor relationships by the end of March.

Details of the road map, confirmed to Channelweb.com in an interview with Todd Abbott, Avaya senior vice president of sales and president of field operations, were provided to Avaya and Nortel VARs and distributors under nondisclosure agreements last week and in some cases, earlier this month.

Overall, the road map suggests Avaya is attuned to not disrupting the sizable Nortel installed base, and at least in the short term, is committed to keeping much of both existing portfolios intact -- even if it means product overlap in some segments.

Avaya Aura -- the company's virtualized unified communications platform -- will be the centerpiece of much of its product go-to-market strategy, as Avaya itself has been saying for the past year.

"The feedback, as we'd hoped for, has been positive," Abbott said of his discussions with Avaya and Nortel partners. "There's a really strong blend of the two product lines, and we've been impressed with the technology we've seen from Nortel. ACE [Nortel's applications/services integration environment], for example, fills a void for us in an application layer to interface with their SIP session-based architecture. That was something they had developed, but what they have is nowhere near ACE. There are a lot of products like that, and a lot are very good for their architecture and very complementary."

VARs have been telling Channelweb.com since at least Avaya's Americas Partner Conference in Nashville that optimism on Avaya would depend on how Avaya executed on the Nortel product and channel integration. Here's what they'll know as of Tuesday:


The current road map has Avaya planning to end-of-sale three products in the Nortel portfolio, and one in the Avaya portfolio.

From Nortel, Avaya will end-of-sale the Nortel dialer ("a point product," Abbott said), the "m" version of the CS1K communications server line, and the 5300 model application server.

The fourth product to go is Avaya's Contact Center Express, in favor of Nortel's CC 7, which Avaya will now use as its principal midmarket call center offering. Elements of Contact Center Express, Abbott said, will be integrated into CC 8 -- a future version expected to be finished within 9 months.

All four products will go through Avaya's end-of-sale process, which means they'll be sold for six more months and serviced for six more years, as they're gradually phased out of the overall portfolio.

"We're not creating any issues for customers thinking the infrastructure they've invested in is now outdated," Abbott said. "There's really no investment protection issue for their customers and partners, who can migrate and evolve their infrastructures over time."

Abbott acknowledged that there will be substantial overlap in some product categories. For example, Avaya will continue to offer both Avaya's IP Office and Nortel's Business Communications Manager -- SMB-geared products similar enough to elicit VAR doubts there'd be room left for both.

"Our message to the market is that both of these products are going to be retained and investment will continue in both," Abbott said. "We want to make it smooth so that they can move to a consolidated platform over time."

Abbott said he wasn't worried that minimal changes to the Avaya and Nortel portfolios would confuse partners. Minimal disruption was precisely the point, he argued.

"Two product lines and only four end-of-sales. That's pretty significant," Abbott said. "Nortel fills in some voids that they had as well and Avaya fills in some voids that they had. The first phase of the process was to align as much as possible on the SIP-session-based architecture, and there was great commonality relative to where both teams thought the technology needed to go. There was a lot less protectiveness between [engineers] than you might think."

Nortel partners joining Avaya will go through authorization and certification on Avaya products, and existing Avaya VARs will need to do the same on Nortel products.

As Avaya described at the Partner Conference, it's created a new badge for Nortel's data networking portfolio. Avaya has opted to preserve Nortel's entire data networking line, despite rumors that it would look to sell it or spin it off based on the fact that Nortel's market share in data networking is dwarfed by those of HP and Cisco.

"This is critical for us," Abbott said. "Today they compete with a two-box solution. If you're going to judge us based on the R&D required to be a full-fledged router and switch company, those concerns would be valid. But we're not looking to be a complete end-to-end data provider -- you're not going to see us in carrier-based routers and switches. They need to be a fit-for-purpose data provider. Unified communications and contact center is where they will focus their R&D investment. Those are their primary business. The data products complement that and enable it, but it doesn't mean I have to have all the point products in the data portfolio."

Services And Distributors Services

Abbott acknowledged that Nortel's and Avaya's services strategies were "very different," but he referenced the expanded VAR programs around services that Avaya put in place last fall.

Some of those programs -- one, for example, enables VARs to offer private-label managed services -- have given Avaya a new indirect services story that simply didn't exist at any substantial level in the past.

"A lot of Nortel partners have a traditional TPM- [third party maintenance] based services go-to-market," Abbott said. "But as you move to the IP world, it becomes much more of a self-serve, 1-800-Tech-Support software and support model where on-site services are less of a requirement. That's part of the challenge for us. But their message to partners is that we're not going to be competing with them. They need to collectively go to work. They have been planning to migrate around Avaya support, and unbundle what before was a very closed support model."

Abbott's message to Nortel VARs fearing their services margins will evaporate is, 'Don't be afraid.'

"Our new design points are very much partner-enabled," he insisted. "We'll take the managed services competencies that Nortel had and make sure they're in line with the tenet of their strategy, which is partner-enabled managed services. They don't want to be in the direct managed services business."


One of the big questions for Avaya is what it plans to do with the distributors -- especially Ingram Micro and Tech Data -- that have strong Nortel lines. Some tough decisions may await Avaya, which has been holding discussions with distributors on an ongoing basis and plans to disclose which relationships it will maintain by the end of March.

"We will spend the next two-and-a-half months studying their distribution coverage model and what it needs to look like three to four years out," Abbott said. "Obviously, there's some overlap, and that comes from the Nortel channel. Their design point is to make sure they don't over-cover the market while realizing that some of these distributors are quite strong from a multinational and global perspective. Their goal is much longer-term, higher-value distribution."

Of existing Avaya and/or Nortel distributors who will remain with Avaya going forward, Abbott confirmed only Westcon Group as a sure thing.

"It's not wise for me to even consider a move away from them. They're becoming their largest distributor," he said. "It would be impractical, which is not meant to be a backhanded compliment -- they're a real key asset."

Does the same hold true for other distributors?

"It's hard to say," Abbott continued. "Some of these products are not necessarily ready for broadline distribution. This is a high-value business. Having said that, there's still tremendous value in having those, and the breadth of coverage [broadline distributors] can offer is extremely important to us. I go into this process without preconceived notions. We're not going to string this thing along."

What about ScanSource's Catalyst Telecom, which does strong Avaya business?

"I think the answer is, 'Yes,'" Abbott said. "They have to do more internationally for us, and they're making moves to do that. Moving from distributor to distributor is a complex process, and given the complications of business, the last thing you want to do is make changes for your reseller who depends on a distributor."

Abbott suggested that VARs should continue to lean on their distributors for information, and also make use of Avaya call centers and Web resources for getting answers to Avaya-Nortel transition questions.

He extolled Avaya's ability to have completed the acquisition and come public with a product road map in a short time, and said Avaya will be announcing new products in the second quarter, as well as ongoing support for its newer partners.

"Because it was a bankrupt company, there's lots of planning that they were able to do ahead of time, and that's helped us be comprehensive," Abbott said.

As for Avaya, "What we've been doing since they went private is rewiring this company for speed. If you set the pace for execution in the industry, you typically win."

Avaya is scheduled to hold a conference call for media and analysts on the Nortel product integration at 11 a.m. EST, Tuesday, and a virtual conference at 1 p.m. EST, Tuesday. Watch this space for analysis and views from the channel throughout the week.

2024 Predictions: Better customer experience is on the way

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Improving the call centre experience in the financial services sector

British banking and insurance holding company NatWest Group serves 19 million customers across 12 banking and financial services brands via its network of call centres. To deliver the best possible service to customers while also protecting their data, NatWest relies on cloud-native biometric security solution Nuance Gatekeeper to monitor incoming calls and verify individuals’ identities.  

The Nuance solution streamlines the verification process. This allows contact centre agents to identify customers through natural conversation, removing the need for them to ask specific questions or request security codes or secret answers, and helping to verify customers quickly.  

NatWest Group is just one of many financial services organisations investing in Microsoft-powered technologies to empower customer service workers to work more efficiently and productively.  

“Contact centre agents who are properly trained on company policies and equipped with the right tools are able to deliver improved customer satisfaction and efficiency,” says Chris Caile, director of product marketing at Microsoft, and former director of solutions marketing and intelligent engagement at Nuance Communications, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2022.  

At the same time, customers have grown accustomed to personalised service in other industries and expect no less from their financial services providers.  

“As consumers, they are all similar,” explains Caile. “When issues arise with their bank, investment or insurance company, they call customer support and expect great service from the agents. Contact centre agents are the frontline to millions of customer interactions every day. Agents who lack the training and technology to instantly – and correctly – assist customers run the risk of hurting customer satisfaction and the business.”  

A study commissioned by Microsoft found that some UK customers are waiting for an average of eight minutes and 27 seconds to speak with a financial services representative when phoning a call centre. This is 25.35 times slower than the industry’s optimal standard for call centres, which requires agents to answer calls within 20 seconds, as reported by callcentrehelper.com. Caile suggests that financial services organisations should develop approaches to better engage and empower call centre agents for improved productivity.   

“Beyond traditional employee onboarding and training for contact centre agents, the leading financial institutions look closely at their technology strategy and ask themselves if they have siloed departments or data that prevents agents from serving customers,” says Caile. “If so, they need to work with a technology provider to find a solution that will successfully surface the right data to agents at the right time.  

“Other considerations include how to effectively gather and share information with context from different departments, encouraging agent collaboration, and ensuring that customer data is secure and has the right biometric authentication at the frontline to build confidence that the customers are who they say they are.”  

For example, public finance organisations are using Nuance Gatekeeper to authenticate callers. The Australian Tax Office has significantly enhanced agent productivity by using the Nuance solution to validate the identities of Australia’s eight million citizens whenever they call its contact centre. “The office’s previous authentication process required customers to provide personal details or have the correct documentation available,” says Caile. “This was time consuming for contact centre agents, amounting to a total of 75,000 agent hours annually. We’re helping to reduce every call by an average of 48 seconds, allowing agents to get on with assisting citizens.”  

Partnering for enhanced productivity  

To provide frontline financial services staff with the contextual data they need to serve customers, firms need to streamline their information retrieval processes. They must also implement advanced technology solutions that enable seamless access to real-time customer information.  

An open architecture enables banks to interact with their data better, according to Dmitri Sedov, global head of data intelligence at London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), who explained how LSEG and Microsoft aim to reshape the future of finance at global financial services event Sibos in September 2023. Sedov highlighted how the two firms will deliver intelligent analytics solutions, available in Microsoft 365, to help financial services organisations Excellerate the customer experience. In addition to developing artificial intelligence-driven self-service solutions to reduce incoming calls, banks will be able to unify their data by connecting with counterparts through Microsoft Teams and having access to data intelligence via Microsoft 365 Copilot.  

According to Microsoft, Copilot combs across an employee’s entire work data, including emails, meetings, chats, documents and more, along with the web, to provide a comprehensive view of their world. “Like an assistant, Copilot gets to know the employee, their job, and how they like to communicate," says Caile. “Copilot then saves time in areas such as summarising a meeting, searching for information and drafting emails. Contact centre agents should see improved efficiency with real-time coaching and prompts for the next best action, freeing them up to engage with customers.”  

One bank benefiting from Microsoft 365 Copilot is the United Overseas Bank (UOB), which is trialling the solution to increase the productivity of 300 of its employees. As part of the Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program, UOB has begun to use the generative AI-powered tools to streamline processes for staff working across departments such as branches, customer service, technology and operations. The bank is already using Copilot capabilities to summarise documents and email threads in Microsoft Outlook and understand data in Excel.  

Alongside Nuance, LSEG and UOB, Microsoft has partnered with over 50 technology solution providers to empower workers in the financial services sector. Trade Ledger, for example, has developed a new AI-powered application, powered by Microsoft Azure, to provide financial services organisations with data quickly and effectively. Users will be able to ask simple natural language questions and the copilot will transform them into queries about the business and respond with the answers that they need.  

Leading by example  

Microsoft is using its own technologies to support its own customer service agents too.  

“Microsoft employees use the Microsoft 365 suite of applications including Outlook, Word and Excel to be more productive,” says Caile. “Additionally, Microsoft operates one of the world’s largest customer support teams with tens of thousands of support engineers. Its customer engagement is built on Dynamics 365 Customer Service.”  

Copilot in Dynamics 365 Customer Service helps employees to deliver faster customer care by drafting contextual and personalised answers to customer questions, and by providing an interactive chat experience over knowledge bases and case history. For Microsoft’s Customer Service and Support team, which assists more than one billion customers worldwide, the Copilot tools reduce the average handle time by 12 per cent to provide faster case resolution without peer assistance. This allows agents to spend more time on particularly difficult cases.  

Beyond AI-powered tools, continuous training enables financial services organisations to empower and engage their staff.  

“Ongoing training ensures employees stay in sync with changing customer and market conditions as well as company policy changes,” says Caile. “For contact centre agents, this is about ensuring their individual desktops surface the latest policy, product and offer update. AI-powered coaching also supports skill building by proactively offering insights into how to handle each situation, enabling the employee to both assist the customer and expand their knowledge.  

“For supervisors and executives, AI-powered technology delivers the latest dashboards and views into queue performance, agent effectiveness and call resolution. This allows them to understand where agents are struggling to meet customer expectations and to Excellerate processes.” 

Partner perspectives 

We asked a selection of Microsoft partners ow they are using Microsoft technology-powered tools to help financial services organisations upskill employees and boost productivity. 

“Avaya builds on Microsoft Azure to equip financial services organisations with AI-powered solutions that increase workforce productivity and upskill staff,” said Giselle Bou Ghanem, senior director and product marketing lead at Avaya. “By integrating machine learning directly into agent workflows, Avaya transforms customer service representatives into highly efficient ‘bionic agents.” 

“Crestron Desk Scheduling solutions make it easy for financial services organisations to effortlessly transition to hot desking by enabling remote workers to book a space via software on their laptop before they come in to the office,” said Toine C. Leerentveld, director of product management for cloud and controls at Crestron. “Meanwhile, office-based employees can reserve a space by using the compact touch screen or quickly scanning a QR code, with highly visible LED status indicators displaying which desks are available to save them valuable time.” 

“ITSCREDIT provides an omnichannel platform that prioritises the digitisation of credit processes, offering flexibility, rapid time-to-market and complete control of the entire credit lifecycle,” said Paulo Pinto, chief technology officer at ITSCREDIT. “Our entire development is based on Microsoft technology, and they believe that leveraging modernised services such as the cloud, Azure AI and machine learning, security, and compliance tools, are crucial for financial institutions.” 

“Modern businesses are refocusing their attention to meet employee needs by integrating automation technology,” said Andy Birkey, marketing communications specialist at Metafile Information Systems. “Financial services organisations are providing a comprehensive, automated accounts payable solution that works seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics 365, such as MetaViewer, to empower their workforce, leading to significant gains in productivity.” 

Read more from these partners and others in the Winter 2023 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription. 


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Warum sind Cyberrisiken so schwer greifbar?

Als mehr oder weniger neuartiges Phänomen stellen Cyberrisiken Unternehmen und Versicherer vor besondere Herausforderungen. Nicht nur die neuen Schadenszenarien sind abstrakter oder noch nicht bekannt. Häufig sind immaterielle Werte durch Cyberrisiken in Gefahr. Diese wertvollen Vermögensgegenstände sind schwer bewertbar.

Obwohl die Gefahr durchaus wahrgenommen wird, unterschätzen viele Firmen ihr eigenes Risiko. Dies liegt unter anderem auch an den Veröffentlichungen zu Cyberrisiken. In der Presse finden sich unzählige Berichte von Cyberattacken auf namhafte und große Unternehmen. Den Weg in die Presse finden eben nur die spektakulären Fälle. Die dort genannten Schadenszenarien werden dann für das eigene Unternehmen als unrealistisch eingestuft. Die für die KMU nicht minder gefährlichen Cyber­attacken werden nur selten publiziert.

Aufgrund der fehlenden öffentlichen Meldungen von Sicherheitsvorfällen an Sicherheitsbehörden und wegen der fehlenden Presseberichte fällt es schwer, Fakten und Zahlen zur Risikolage zu erheben. Aber ohne diese Grundlage fällt es schwer, in entsprechende Sicherheitsmaßnahmen zu investieren.

Erklärungsleitfaden anhand eines Ursache-Wirkungs-Modells

Häufig nähert man sich dem Thema Cyberrisiko anlass- oder eventbezogen, also wenn sich neue Schaden­szenarien wie die weltweite WannaCry-Attacke entwickeln. Häufig wird auch akteursgebunden beleuchtet, wer Angreifer oder Opfer sein kann. Dadurch begrenzt man sich bei dem Thema häufig zu sehr nur auf die Cyberkriminalität. Um dem Thema Cyberrisiko jedoch gerecht zu werden, müssen auch weitere Ursachen hinzugezogen werden.

Mit einer Kategorisierung kann das Thema ganzheitlich und nachvollziehbar strukturiert werden. Ebenso hilft eine solche Kategorisierung dabei, eine Abgrenzung vorzunehmen, für welche Gefahren Versicherungsschutz über eine etwaige Cyberversicherung besteht und für welche nicht.

Die Ursachen sind dabei die Risiken, während finanzielle bzw. nicht finanzielle Verluste die Wirkungen sind. Cyberrisiken werden demnach in zwei Hauptursachen eingeteilt. Auf der einen Seite sind die nicht kriminellen Ursachen und auf der anderen Seite die kriminellen Ursachen zu nennen. Beide Ursachen können dabei in drei Untergruppen unterteilt werden.

Nicht kriminelle Ursachen

Höhere Gewalt

Häufig hat man bei dem Thema Cyberrisiko nur die kriminellen Ursachen vor Augen. Aber auch höhere Gewalt kann zu einem empfindlichen Datenverlust führen oder zumindest die Verfügbarkeit von Daten einschränken, indem Rechenzentren durch Naturkatastrophen wie beispielsweise Überschwemmungen oder Erdbeben zerstört werden. Ebenso sind Stromausfälle denkbar.

Menschliches Versagen/Fehlverhalten

Als Cyberrisiken sind auch unbeabsichtigtes und menschliches Fehlverhalten denkbar. Hierunter könnte das versehentliche Veröffentlichen von sensiblen Informationen fallen. Möglich sind eine falsche Adressierung, Wahl einer falschen Faxnummer oder das Hochladen sensibler Daten auf einen öffentlichen Bereich der Homepage.

Technisches Versagen

Auch Hardwaredefekte können zu einem herben Datenverlust führen. Neben einem Überhitzen von Rechnern sind Kurzschlüsse in Systemtechnik oder sogenannte Headcrashes von Festplatten denkbare Szenarien.

Kriminelle Ursachen


Hackerangriffe oder Cyberattacken sind in der Regel die Szenarien, die die Presse dominieren. Häufig wird von spektakulären Datendiebstählen auf große Firmen oder von weltweiten Angriffen mit sogenannten Kryptotrojanern berichtet. Opfer kann am Ende aber jeder werden. Ziele, Methoden und auch das Interesse sind vielfältig. Neben dem finanziellen Interesse können Hackerangriffe auch zur Spionage oder Sabotage eingesetzt werden. Mögliche Hackermethoden sind unter anderem: Social Engineering, Trojaner, DoS-Attacken oder Viren.

Physischer Angriff

Die Zielsetzung eines physischen Angriffs ist ähnlich dem eines Hacker­angriffs. Dabei wird nicht auf die Tools eines Hackerangriffs zurückgegriffen, sondern durch das physische Eindringen in Unternehmensgebäude das Ziel erreicht. Häufig sind es Mitarbeiter, die vertrauliche Informationen stehlen, da sie bereits den notwendigen Zugang zu den Daten besitzen.


Obwohl die Erpressung aufgrund der eingesetzten Methoden auch als Hacker­angriff gewertet werden könnte, ergibt eine Differenzierung Sinn. Erpressungsfälle durch Kryptotrojaner sind eines der häufigsten Schadenszenarien für kleinere und mittelständische Unternehmen. Außerdem sind auch Erpressungsfälle denkbar, bei denen sensible Daten gestohlen wurden und ein Lösegeld gefordert wird, damit sie nicht veröffentlicht oder weiterverkauft werden.

Ihre Cyberversicherung sollte zumindet folgende Schäden abdecken:


  • Soforthilfe und Forensik-Kosten (Kosten der Ursachenermittlung, Benachrichtigungskosten und Callcenter-Leistung)
  • Krisenkommunikation / PR-Maßnahmen
  • Systemverbesserungen nach einer Cyber-Attacke
  • Aufwendungen vor Eintritt des Versicherungsfalls

Cyber-Drittschäden (Haftpflicht):

  • Befriedigung oder Abwehr von Ansprüchen Dritter
  • Rechtswidrige elektronische Kommunikation
  • Ansprüche der E-Payment-Serviceprovider
  • Vertragsstrafe wegen der Verletzung von Geheimhaltungspflichten und Datenschutzvereinbarungen
  • Vertragliche Schadenersatzansprüche
  • Vertragliche Haftpflicht bei Datenverarbeitung durch Dritte
  • Rechtsverteidigungskosten


  • Betriebsunterbrechung
  • Betriebsunterbrechung durch Ausfall von Dienstleister (optional)
  • Mehrkosten
  • Wiederherstellung von Daten (auch Entfernen der Schadsoftware)
  • Cyber-Diebstahl: elektronischer Zahlungsverkehr, fehlerhafter Versand von Waren, Telefon-Mehrkosten/erhöhte Nutzungsentgelte
  • Cyber-Erpressung
  • Entschädigung mit Strafcharakter/Bußgeld
  • Ersatz-IT-Hardware
  • Cyber-Betrug