Association of British Insurers steps up call for access to ICO’s cyber breach data

James Dalton

James Dalton

While addressing a room full of Government officials, peers and industry leaders alongside Baroness Neville-Jones (former chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee), James Dalton, the director of general insurance policy at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), has stepped up the ABI’s calls for access to anonymised breach data from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Dalton was speaking at the launch of the Digital Policy Alliance’s primer on cyber insurance, which is aimed at increasing awareness and take-up of cyber cover among British businesses. He called for a redoubling of efforts to enable industry’s access to the necessary data, which has been well received across Whitehall.

“One of the most significant issues with cyber insurance pricing and underwriting is the lack of robust data on cyber risk,” asserted Dalton. “Unlike colleagues in the property insurance sector who can rely on hundreds of years of claims experience, cyber underwriters do not have such a wealth of information. Progress in delivering this access with the ICO has not been as swift as we would have liked. Ultimately, a healthier cyber insurance market is good for businesses, good for the economy and, most importantly, good for all of us as customers of businesses dealing with ever-increasing amounts of our data.”

Dalton stressed: “Our ‘ask’ is for a refocusing of minds and a redoubling of effort to get a meaningful sharing of the ICO’s data over the line.”

Dalton also reiterated his firm rebuttal to suggestions of product standardisation across the cyber market. “There have been proposals from various stakeholders to impose product standardisation in the cyber insurance market. In our view, these must be firmly resisted. Cyber risk is constantly changing and evolving. As a consequence, insurers need to frequently adapt and change their policy wordings, question sets and underwriting approaches in order to ensure that they’re best serving their customers, while at the same time managing their exposures prudently in line with their regulatory responsibilities.”

Dalton added: “It’s misguided to attempt to impose standards on the cyber insurance market, and especially one that’s in its relative infancy and needs flexibility to respond to an ever-changing cyber risk landscape.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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