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Cyber security vital to insurers as 'treasure chests' of personal data

Posted On: Nov. 12, 2015 12:00 AM CST

WASHINGTON — Cyber security is “arguably the single most important issue” facing the insurance industry, according the chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Cybersecurity Task Force.

That's because insurers present “treasure chests of personal information” for hackers, North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm told the annual meeting of the American Academy of Actuaries in Washington Thursday.

He said that his task force has accomplished much since it was created less than a year ago.

For one, it drafted an insurance regulatory guidance of 12 principles for effective cyber security, Mr. Hamm said. Among other things, cyber security regulatory guidance for insurers and insurance producers must be “flexible, scalable, practical and consistent with nationally recognized efforts such as those embodied in the National Institute of Standards and Technology framework.”

The principles are not a “one-size fits all solution,” he said.

The task force also has adopted a “cybersecurity bill of rights.” It spells out the obligations of insurers and producers to their customers regarding cyber issues, including the right to at least one year of identity theft protection paid by an insurer or agent involved in a data breach.