Are Cyber-insurers Responsible for Increased Cybercrime?

March 4, 2021

Auto insurers that pay back stolen car loans are never considered the ones responsible for increased levels of car theft. Similarly, home insurers do not bear the brunt of contributing to rises in burglary. The question that is raised by many in the public is then why do cyber insurers bear responsibility for encouraging cybercrime?

Graeme Newman is the chief innovation officer for CFC Underwriting, a cyberinsurance company. Although frustrated at the widespread acceptance of the notion that paying ransom fuels increased cybercrime, Newman and the rest of the cyber insurance industry have gotten used to this sentiment. This concept was brought about into the spotlight after Ciaran Martin, the former head of the UK National Cyber Security Centre, stated the cyberinsuracec industry was "inadvertently funding organized crime". Martin additionally added that laws banning ransom payments should not be out of the question.

Newman believes that this accusation of the cyber industry is becoming popularized, yet does not reflect reality in any way. Many are claiming that the cyber insurers desire increasing occcurences of ransomware and cybercrime, as it would be good for business. However, according to Newman, "no cyber insurer these days would suggest ransomware has been a boon, with cyberattacks occurring on a weekly if not daily basis". 

“Targeting insurers as the source of the problem is fundamentally misguided,” Newman stated in a post on LinkedIn. “Less than 15% of global businesses purchase this kind of insurance, so to suggest that eliminating part of it would fix what is now a global issue would be to ignore the other 85% of businesses who face the same problem without insurance.”