Insurance firm partners with Armata to improve cyber protection for SMEs

Christopher Tredger
By Christopher Tredger, Portals editor
Johannesburg, 13 Feb 2024
Caesar Tonkin, head of Armata Cyber Security,
Caesar Tonkin, head of Armata Cyber Security,

Johannesburg-based insurance firm iTOO Special Risks has partnered with cyber security services provider Armata Cyber Security to offer better digital assets protection to clients, particularly those in the small, micro, and medium enterprise (SMME) market space.

iTOO Special Risks has offices in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zambia, providing among others cyber insurance solutions. Armata Cyber Security was founded in 2021 under the Vox Telecom umbrella to provides cost-effective cyber security serices.

The partners have teamed up to address ransomware, phishing and business e-mail compromise, identified as the most serious cyber security challenges targeting businesses.

Armata Cyber Security head, Caesar Tonkin, says there is a synergy between Armata's managed cyber security services and iTOO’s comprehensive cyber insurance offerings.

According to the business plan, iTOO conducts an external attack surface assessment on a business and then presents a report that shows up key cyber security gaps that must be closed. The company also recommends a remediation plan and tailored roadmap to raise their defences.

Once a customer’s cyber security risk is validated, the companies then present a cyber insurance roadmap and a managed security service roadmap.

Justin Naylor, managing director at ITOO Special Risks, says, “SMMEs often lack the financial wherewithal of larger enterprises, yet they face the same threats and cyber security challenges. We aim to understand the unique challenges faced by our clients and tailor our services to meet their specific cyber security and insurance requirements.”

Ryan van de Coolwijk, product head of cyber at iTOO Special Risks, says, the partnership with allow the insurer to offer clients improved risk assessments, leveraging Armata's expertise in identifying vulnerabilities and implementing proactive security measures. This means that each client will receive a customised solution that aligns with their unique cyber risk profile, he adds.

Ryan van de Coolwijk, product head of cyber at iTOO Special Risks, highlights that their partnership with Armata Cyber Security allows them to offer clients improved risk assessments and proactive security measures. This customized approach ensures that each client receives a solution tailored to their specific cyber risk profile.

The partners have cited the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Risks Report 2024 which ranks cyber attacks fifth on its list of biggest threats facing businesses this year, behind extreme weather, AI-generated misinformation, disinformation, societal and/or political polarisation, and the cost-of-living crisis.

Ransomware attacks, which have been a continual threat in recent years, are expected to continue their upward trajectory this year, with AI and ML also tipped to play an increasingly important role in attacks.

The companies said while there is still a great deal of training and awareness required around cyber security insurance in South Africa, increased awareness of incidents and matching solutions to address core requirements is helping.