“What we found when we started engaging with the market is cyber insurance is a challenging item for the world’s largest insurance companies,” Millaire said.
“On the one hand cyber insurance represents one of the biggest premium growth opportunities. The line is growing exceptionally fast and penetration rates are low.
“On the other hand it is also one of the biggest risks insurers face given the lack of data, the lack of actuarial models and the lack of underwriting tools.”
Needless to say, measures such as the use of effective ICT security technologies and processes helps reduce risk in those models and therefore the cost of cyber insurance.
Then there are the other product partnerships.
Symantec’s cyber insurance partner programme promises to help insurers differentiate their cyber insurance products by bundling Symantec’s security services and products to reduce risk and assist recovery. It also helps insurer partners to market into Symantec’s installed user base.
In addition to the Berkshire Hathaway alliance, Symantec has teamed with Tokio Marine in Japan to deliver cyber insurance bundled with Norton security products to consumers.
In this model, unlike in Australia and New Zealand, it is Symantec and its channels rather than the insurer doing most of the selling.
In the US, Symantec has partnered with top-three insurer Chubb to develop a new offering for small businesses. This combines Norton for Small Business with cyber insurance.
SMBs can go online to buy, creating a one-stop-shop for both security and insurance against data breaches.
Millaire said it is estimated as many as 60 per cent of SMBs will close after such a data breach due to the “incredible costs” of recovery. These costs only increase when data-breach notification becomes mandatory as looks likely in Australia.
The product partnerships were launched in mid-2016 and are now being expanded to other locations.
“It’s our belief when clients buy cyber-security they are really looking for more holistic risk management solutions," Millaire said.
"You can either mitigate risk with cyber-security or you can transfer it through insurance. It’s our belief some of the best products will do both.”
Millaire said it is early days in a fast growing market and there are tremendous opportunities for channel partners to get involved.
Symantec is, for instance, exploring the role data-loss prevention software resellers can play in tripartite partnership arrangement with local insurers and Symantec to service clients.
“Ultimately insurers are looking for ways to differentiate their cyber insurance policies. In order to do that there are all sorts of collaborations that could be undertaken between channel partners, Symantec and the insurers to create a better and stronger value proposition.
“Insurers are looking for more ways to compete than just price.”