Every time a driver buckles up or an airbag is deployed we see the powerful influence of the insurance companies who insisted those measures become mandatory. Now, those insurers are poised to drive cybersecurity investment by insisting that organizations meet certain criteria to qualify for coverage.

Still unclear is whether this will serve the cybersecurity community well, or distort strategies to protect data and networks.

"I believe this to be the next tectonic shift,” said Bryan Hurd, vice president at Aon Cyber Solutions. He referenced an insurer’s role in designing pressure relief valves for the steam engines powering Philadelphia in the 1800s: “They said if you wanted to have insurance, you have to have this piece of architecture on your system.” In so doing, “they drove security or solutions to avoid large insurance claims.”

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