Insurance giant Marsh & McLennan is leading a new collaborative effort involving top cyber insurance companies in order to provide a ‘cyber catalyst’ seal of approval to the top-rated cyber security products in the marketplace. The goal of this new cyber insurance initiative is simple: To make it easier for businesses and consumers to find the very best cyber security products that will protect them from data breaches, data theft and cyber extortion.
According to Marsh, this new cyber insurance initiative is modelled on similar initiatives that exist in other industries – such as the automotive industry – that seek to reduce the amount of risk faced by businesses and consumers. For example, insurance companies provide ratings of products such as seatbelts and airbags, and many consumer review publications publish ratings of the ‘safest’ automobiles. For both consumers and insurers, such arrangements are effective. Consumers are able to benefit by lowering their overall risk profile, and insurance companies benefit by having to pay out fewer claims. As a result, consumers are able to negotiate lower insurance premiums and qualify for enhanced terms if they take steps to minimise risk.
The same business model is being applied to the cyber insurance marketplace. Right now, says Marsh, there are more than 3,000 providers in the cyber security marketplace, and tens of thousands of potential products and offerings. Making sense of all of these offerings is difficult, and so Marsh has recruited the biggest names within the cyber insurance industry to do all the heavy lifting and provide a seal of approval to the safest products.
At launch, the list of leading cyber insurers participating in the project include Allianz, AXA, AXIS, Beazley, CFC, Munich Re, Sompo International, and Zurich North America. Collectively, these cyber insurance companies represent a substantial portion of all policies and premiums in the $4bn cyber insurance market, and so it is important that they play a leading role in helping to evaluate cybersecurity solutions.
These major cyber insurance companies will then work with Microsoft as a technical advisor to rate and evaluate as many products as possible. The cyber catalyst programme is designed not as a product review initiative (in which products might receive a score of 0-100 or a grade of A to F), but rather, as a product ratings initiative. A