A series of product partnerships with cyber insurance providers locally and globally is signalling that ICT security firm Symantec is preparing for what could be a major market shift.
The vendor appears to be experimenting with different models in different markets, and with good reason: in most other sectors insurers determine who gets the business of mitigating risk or repairing damage.
Cyber insurers could disrupt the market by operating in much the same way as, for example, vehicle insurers, who direct business towards approved panel-beaters, mechanic and other repairers.
As cyber insurance grows from around a US$4 billion market now to a projected US$20 billion, insurers could profoundly change the way cyber-security is bought and sold, said Pascal Millaire, Symantec’s Vice President and General Manager of Cyber Insurance.
Increasingly insurers will become “critical influencers” in buying decisions, he predicted.
“Cyber insurance is a CEO-level issue for leaders of the world’s largest insurance companies so should really be top of mind for technology vendors, cyber-security vendors and those in the channel,” Millaire said.
“When the US$4 trillion insurance industry begins moving into a new vertical or space that can have profound implications for the markets they enter.”
As the uptake of cyber insurance grows, the global US$90 billion ICT security business will increasingly be directed towards providers with strong insurance partnerships. The insurance industry could also become a competing channel for ICT security resellers.
Symantec is tackling that challenge on two broad fronts, Millaire said.
First, it is building tools for the insurance industry to help it refine its risk and actuarial models. Second, it is forming product partnerships with insurers to take bundled cyber insurance and ICT security services to market.
One such partnership, with Berkshire Hathaway Specialist Insurance in Australia and New Zealand, demonstrates how cyber insurance providers offer a new channel to market for Symantec.
Under that deal, Symantec provides both cyber-security and incident response services to policyholders, Millaire said.
The deal is one of three that illustrate how Symantec is experimenting with different models in different market spaces and regions.
But first, there are the new cyber insurance tools, being developed in association with New York-based risk specialists March & McLennan and due to be released in the Northern hemisphere summer.
Symantec Cyber Insurance, established two years ago, will be providing an analytics software platform for partner underwriters, portfolio managers, risk analysts and actuaries to calculate cyber risk using Symantec’s cyber security intelligence and data.
The service delivers underwriting intelligence, cyber catastrophe modelling and pricing analytics to help insurers better understand and mitigate the hard-to-calculate risk of cyber-security incidents.