Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Cyber Risk and Insurtech

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit will cover the fundamentals of information technology and its importance within the insurance industry. Throughout the study-unit a number of insurance related computer applications will be discussed. These include examples of software which are used both in the local and foreign insurance markets. The students will also learn the importance of electronic data security and potential consequences to the insurance industry stakeholders. Finally, the study-unit will take an in-depth look into the latest Web 2.0 technologies, e-Commerce and on-line marketing.

Each lecture will be delivered with various real live examples and past experience of the uses of information technology within the Maltese market and foreign markets such as the UK and US.

The lectures will be delivered using a "hands on" approach allowing each student to relate the theory with their own works experience and prepare them for their future jobs within the industry.

It will also explore the internal controls in the Process of Auditing Information Systems - that is developing the knowledge necessary to provide audit services in accordance with IT audit standards to assist the enterprise with protecting and controlling information systems. Then the study-unit will focus on Governance and Management of IT - that is providing assurance that the organization has the structure, policies, accountability, mechanisms and monitoring practices in place to achieve the requirements of corporate governance of IT. Moreover, it explores Information Systems Acquisition, that is the Development and Implementation - Understanding and providing assurance that the practices for the acquisition, development, testing and implementation of information systems meet the enterprise's strategies and objectives.

The study-unit later goes on to explore, Information Systems Operations, Maintenance and Support - that is understanding and providing assurance that the IT service management practices will ensure the delivery of the level of services required to meet the enterprise's objectives. Finally it looks at the Protection of Information Assets - that is understanding and providing assurance that the security architecture (policies, standards, procedures and controls) ensures the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information assets.


- Information Technology Fundamentals
- Insurance Data Management and Storage
- Information Security
- Legal Aspects of Information Technology relating to insurance
- Insurance Applications
- Internet Technologies and the role of e-commerce in insurance

Study-Unit Aims:

The aim of this study-unit is to analyse the technical aspects of information technology, the management of information technology and its application to insurance.

Moreover, to prepare students to be able to work in challenging environment of IT Risk Management and Audit Management of various entities. The objective is to give students an understanding of the terminology and tools used in this environment to complete an audit of systems and applications.

The study-unit will also focus on general computer control, application level control auditing as well as introducing a risk-based management approach.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- illustrate ICT terminology as applied to the insurance industry;
- identify the (usually underestimated) importance of ICT within the insurance industry;
- recognise how computer systems work and the growing importance of the Internet in the past few years;
- develop and implement a risk-based IT audit strategy in compliance with IT audit standards to ensure that key areas are included;
- plan specific audits to determine whether information systems are protected, controlled and provide value to the enterprise;
- conduct audits in accordance with IT audit standards to achieve planned audit objectives;
- report audit findings and make recommendations to key stakeholders to communicate results and effect change when necessary;
- conduct follow-ups or prepare status reports to ensure appropriate actions have been taken by management in a timely manner;
- evaluate the business case for proposed investments in information systems acquisition,development, maintenance and subsequent retirement to determine whether it meets business objectives;
- evaluate the project management practices and controls to determine whether business requirements are achieved in a cost-effective manner while managing risk to the enterprise;
- conduct reviews to determine whether a project is progressing in accordance with project plans, is adequately supported by documentation and status reporting is accurate;
- evaluate controls for information systems during the requirements, acquisition, development and testing phases for compliance with the enterprise's policies, standards, procedures and applicable external requirements;
- evaluate the readiness of information systems for implementation and migration into production to determine whether project deliverables, controls and the enterprise's requirements are met;
- conduct post implementation reviews of systems to determine whether project deliverables,controls and the enterprise's requirements are met;
- conduct periodic reviews of information systems to determine whether they continue to meet the enterprise's objectives;
- evaluate service level management practices to determine whether the level of service from internal and external service providers is defined and managed;
- evaluate third-party management practices to determine whether the levels of controls expected by the enterprise are being adhered to by the provider;
- evaluate operations and end-user procedures to determine whether scheduled and nonscheduled processes are managed to completion;
- evaluate the process of information systems maintenance to determine whether they are controlled effectively and continue to support the enterprise's objectives;
- evaluate data administration practices to determine the integrity and optimization of databases;
- evaluate the use of capacity and performance monitoring tools and techniques to determine whether IT services meet the enterprise's objectives;
- evaluate problem and incident management practices to determine whether incidents, problems or errors are recorded, analyzed and resolved in a timely manner;
- evaluate change, configuration and release management practices to determine whether scheduled and nonscheduled changes made to the enterprise's production environment are adequately controlled and documented;
- evaluate the information security policies, standards and procedures for completeness and alignment with generally accepted practices;
- evaluate the design, implementation and monitoring of system and logical security controls to verify the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information;
- evaluate the design, implementation and monitoring of the data classification processes and procedures for alignment with the organization's policies, standards, procedures and applicable external requirements;
- evaluate the processes and procedures used to store, retrieve, transport and dispose of information assets (e.g., backup media, offsite storage, hard copy/print data and softcopy media) to determine whether information assets are adequately safeguarded;
- evaluate the effect of the IT Governance structure to determine whether IT decisions support the strategic objectives of the firm.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- apply the theory learnt during the lectures at their place of work;
- take decisions and use the available IT tools available to choose the best alternative;
- contribute effectively to the IT audit and control profession;
- determine their impact on the control process and audit procedures;
- communicate the evidence collected using the appropriate tools and techniques.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Lecture notes to be provided by the lecturer at the start of first Semester.
- Certificate in IT for insurance professional – CITIP, CII Course Book.

Supplementary Readings:

- MFSA Rules and Directives (
- CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) Review Manual (Latest version) (ISACA).
- ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) Journals.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S James Abela
Alan Alden
Antonio Gannino
Simon Grima
Antonio Zerafa

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.