According to U.S. cybersecurity analysts, 12 small groups of hackers from China are responsible for more than $1 billion worth of data from companies throughout the nation. These groups have been monitored by McAfee, a prestigious Internet security company, who drew upon information collected over time. Earlier this year, McAfee tracked intrusions into the U.S. energy grid back to China, where the hacker groups were finally identified after years of arduous investigation.
Last month, U.S. intelligence officials formally rebuked China for its part in the intrusions, but no other action was taken on the matter. Insurance officials have taken the opportunity to note the growing importance of insurance protection against such attacks. While cyber insurance may only be a modest asset to the federal government, it can be a safety net for companies that are targeted by cyber attacks. For these companies, insurance would aid in recovering from these attacks and help companies bear the financial impact associated with them.
Intelligence and insurance officials say that the next step for the federal government is to enact new policies that would detail how the country will respond to cyber attacks and the nations that are backing them. These policies would have to account for the information stolen from companies and how to ensure that such information is protected. Insurance, while a viable means of defense against cyber attacks, is reactionary, thus companies only benefit after they have been targeted.