Insurers Applaud White House Cyber Security Initiative

September 23, 2002

A broad-based group of insurers, reinsurers, and agents and brokers have applauded the White House’s proposed development of a groundbreaking comprehensive national strategy to secure cyberspace. The strategy was to be unveiled at an event featuring Richard Clarke, Special Advisor to the President for Cyberspace Security, other government officials, and industry representatives from affected economic sectors.

The White House’s report, “The National Strategy To Secure Cyberspace,” urges the President’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board (PCICB) to “work with the insurance industry on ways to expand the availability and utilization of insurance for managing cyber risk.”

The insurance industry has been working closely with the White House this year to help enhance the nation’s cyber security. The White House report released refers often to the role of insurance in cyber security, including a detailed insurance sector report which is included as an addendum. Assisting the White House with this paper was a working group of insurance industry representatives from American International Group (AIG), The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Guy Carpenter, American Insurance Association, the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, and the Reinsurance Association of America.

“It has become increasingly clear that our nation needs a plan to protect its vital cyber resources, which are linked to other parts of our critical infrastructure,” Marylu Korkuch, vice president and external affairs director of The Chubb Corporation, said. “The insurance industry has been delighted to participate in the development of ‘The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace.’ Insurers often are the first to see a pattern of losses develop, and hence, we can act as an early warning indicator. Our ability to assess and manage risk enables us to provide our customers with the loss prevention programs and insurance they will need to resist or withstand a cyber attack.”

The insurance section added to the report addresses the unique role that insurance can play in working with businesses and minimizing risks associated with cyber security challenges. It lists five recommendations that focus on insurance products which are designed to minimize and cover cyber losses, an educational campaign designed to enhance awareness among risk managers and CEOs of cyber-related risks and issues in general, partnerships with the federal government to voluntarily share information related to computer security hacks or problems, and public-private partnerships targeting cyber security research and the development of general risk modeling for cyber security products.

“The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace has raised private sector awareness of the serious operational and financial impairment brought on by cyber events, and raised the need for cyber insurance and loss assessment services” Ty Sagalow, executive vice president and COO, AIG eBusiness Risk Solutions, commented.

“This report and the President’s cyber security strategy highlight the extremely critical role that insurance can play in defending our nation against cyber attacks. We and others are ready to fight cyber terrorism and meet the nation’s cyber security challenges,” John Savercool, AIA vice president, federal affairs, added.

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