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Nathan Golia
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4 Insurance CEOs Reveal Cybersecurity Practices

During the CEO roundtable at this year's Property Casualty Joint Industry Forum, panelists were asked: "What does your company do to protect customer data?"
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The fallout from the Target data breach has cascaded across the business world: Any company that harbors consumers' sensitive financial information can see firsthand the reputational impact that comes after exposing 40 million customer card numbers. At this year's Property Casualty Joint Industry Forum, insurance CEOs were asked during a roundtable how their companies secure their IT infrastructure against threats. Following are some of their responses:

All photos by Don Pollard.


1. Peter Hancock, AIG Property Casualty

We're under attack hundreds of times a day. We let them penetrate to a certain level so we learn more about the attacker. But at the end of the day one of the most prevalent vulnerabilities is human error. So we're also working hard on social engineering and making it easier to follow procedures. If you don't think about it holistically, you can overoptimize somewhere and miss something crucial.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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KBurger
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KBurger,
User Rank: Author
1/21/2014 | 9:38:27 PM
re: 4 Insurance CEOs Reveal Cybersecurity Practices
I'm sure many financial institutions (at least larger companies) employ former hackers or contract with them to test the vulnerability of their systems. It's true that security is a top priority issue that no one wants to talk about. However, it's increasingly important for banks and other FIs to share information about threats and attacks, as the fraudsters become more sophisticated. So there is going to have to be a bit more transparency.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
1/21/2014 | 3:42:19 PM
re: 4 Insurance CEOs Reveal Cybersecurity Practices
I think it may be a combination of both those ideas. Since cyber threats are growing and changing, insurers may be trying to hammer out the finer details of their strategies. That being said, cybersecurity is a sensitive topic for public discussion. Even as insurers develop and strengthen their strategies, they will likely remain hesitant to share those details.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
1/21/2014 | 3:07:15 PM
re: 4 Insurance CEOs Reveal Cybersecurity Practices
I thought that was an interesting idea as well, and a good protective strategy. The more insurers learn about their attackers, the better they can protect against them.
janderson088
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janderson088,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/19/2014 | 10:24:26 AM
re: 4 Insurance CEOs Reveal Cybersecurity Practices
Nathan, I think you have this right. The high level topic of privacy is a land mind for CEO's (share price, regulatory pressures and etc.).
On the other hand, Kathy you may sense correctly that the finer points of the issue have not been mastered at this level (nor, is that necessary?)
Nathan Golia
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Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 1:33:03 AM
re: 4 Insurance CEOs Reveal Cybersecurity Practices
As a smaller insurer, Western depends on vendors to help them protect their infrastructure. But the larger insurers are much more proprietary. I thought it was interesting what Hancock said about AIG allowing hackers to come in to a certain point so they can learn more about the attack. Sort of like an old fashioned spy movie phone tap.
Nathan Golia
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Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 1:31:30 AM
re: 4 Insurance CEOs Reveal Cybersecurity Practices
I got the feeling more than anything that they were trying not to say too much. One CEO even abstained from answering the question.
LorriOBrien
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LorriOBrien,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/16/2014 | 8:19:47 PM
re: 4 Insurance CEOs Reveal Cybersecurity Practices
What exactly are the prevention measures?
KBurger
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KBurger,
User Rank: Author
1/16/2014 | 6:40:24 PM
re: 4 Insurance CEOs Reveal Cybersecurity Practices
Hmmm, I don't know that I'm getting a huge feeling of confidence in the CEOs' understanding of security threats and requirements from reading these quotes.
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