The cyber security arm of the Cabinet Office is planning to encourage insurance providers to reward businesses that adopt sound cyber security practices with better premiums.
Speaking at the National Security conference in London today, the director of the Office of Cyber Security & Information Assurance at the Cabinet Office, James Quinault, said cheaper insurance premiums were one of the ways which the government is trying to improve the cybersecurity of the nation overall.
"We’re looking at how we can grow the insurance market as one means of getting some money riding on [good cybersecurity]," Quinault said. "So the if firms can demonstrate that a risk of an expensive interruption to their IT has been reduced because they got better ‘cyber hygiene’, they might be able to trade that for a better premium."
Quinault said that the key to building "cyber hygiene" into business insurance assessments will be to encouraging insurance to ask the right questions. "Firms pay attention to questions from insurers in a way that they don’t pay attention to a man from the government with a clipboard," he said.
More broadly, Quinault emphasised that combatting cybercrime could not just be a government initiative. "Most of the IT systems in the UK are in private hands, so obviously we’re going to need cooperation to win this fight," he said.
He was speaking at the National Security conference in central London today.