The Lawfare Podcast: Bryan Cunningham on a Federally Funded Backstop for the Cyber Insurance Ecosystem

By Jen Patja Howell 
Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 5:01 AM

Various press reports have indicated that the Biden administration intends to release its cyber strategy in the coming weeks. The cyber strategy will likely cover a range of issues. One potential topic could involve the creation of a federal response or “backstop” to the financial exposure risks that insurers and reinsurers face from future catastrophic cyber incidents affecting those that they insure. 

To talk about the pros and cons of a federal backstop for the cyber insurance ecosystem, Lawfare senior editor Stephanie Pell sat down with Bryan Cunningham, executive director of the Cybersecurity Research and Policy Institute at the University California, Irvine, who co-authored the article, “Uncle Sam Re: Improving Cyber Hygiene and Increasing Confidence in the Cyber Insurance Ecosystem via Government Backstopping.” They talked about what is keeping cyber insurance executives up at night, why the cyber insurance industry has not incentivized better cyber hygiene by the insured, and how a federally funded backstop could assist in shoring up the cyber insurance ecosystem.