Home > Property & Casualty > Collaboration is the key when it comes to cybersecurity

Collaboration is the key when it comes to cybersecurity

cyber_securityThe President, industry leaders, and lawmakers visited the tech-hub of Stanford University earlier this month for an official White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection. The discussions focused on increasing collaboration between the government and the private sector in order to prevent potentially crippling data breaches. The administration hopes that this will encourage Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation. Here are a few key takeaways from the summit:

    1. Cybersecurity is an issue for all sectors of the economy.
      The Identity Theft Resource Center found that 85 million records were exposed last year both in the public and private sectors. Cyber attackers trumped terrorists as the #1 threat to national security last year while data breaches on companies such as Sony Pictures Entertainment, Target, Home Depot, and most recently, insurance giant Anthem Inc., resulted in costly losses.

2. Obama signed an executive order.
Arguing that neither the government nor the private sector can adequately respond to attacks on their own, the order establishes a framework for cybersecurity information sharing to be rolled out in the next 120 days that will ensure timely reports of cyber threats.

3. There must be a balance of privacy protection with a need for increased security.
Obama stressed that Americans should not have to forfeit their basic rights to privacy when they go online.

4. Businesses must allot time and resources to their cyber defenses.
This is a much more manageable and affordable feat than dealing with the repercussions of a cyber-attack. In one of the Summit’s sessions, industry leaders discussed strategies companies can use to eliminate vulnerability, including: supply employees with training materials for information security, invest in secure point-of-sale technology to reduce credit card and identity theft, and foster customer trust and loyalty; collaborate with competitors to develop response plans, and replace passwords with new technologies such as facial, thumbprint, and voice recognition.

Collaboration seems to be the overarching theme in all things cyber related, and we couldn’t agree more. In fact, WGA’s Tech and Cyber Risk team recently launched an open-source website called CyberRiskHub in order to deliver vital information on data security and privacy risks. We hope that this repository of information will assist companies with these growing issues by providing education in the specific risk areas and present possible solutions and methods for responsibly dealing with cyber threats.

This area of risk will only continue to grow, evidenced by the fact that the number of security incidents detected in 2014 was estimated at $42.8 million, which is a 48% increase over 2013 (according to PWC’s Global State of Information Security Survey 2015). Collaboration efforts like the White House Summit and online resources like CyberRiskHub can help improve our chances of fighting cyber threats through sharing information for the greater good.

About the Author

Susan Forbes is the Chief Innovation Officer for WGA. She is responsible for WGA’s innovation leadership, communication and collaboration focused on three areas: new client products and services, client-facing technology services, and operating efficiencies.

617.646.0282| SForbes@wgains.com | Susan on LinkedIn | Follow on Twitter @WGAinnovation

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