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On this episode of the Denim Rivet, we’re tackling a major issue on the minds of businesses and consumers: cyber security. Our guest, Ryan Apgar, is senior vice president of cyber management and a professional liability co-practice leader at Socius Insurance in San Francisco. He shares the cyber trends, challenges, and opportunities he sees in the insurance marketplace—which includes the role of big data in the future of cyber security. Ryan also shares his thoughts on the recent issues involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica and the conversations they’ve spurred about the ethical use of consumer data.

Biggest Challenge

Ryan believes education is the biggest challenge in cyber security. The world of cyber is constantly evolving and still in its infancy at the same time. Ultimately, the insurance carriers, brokers, and the insured themselves all need a better understanding and grasp of cyber security in order to pave a path forward. Carriers in particular have an uphill battle in terms of staying relevant.

Startups and Cyber

Cyber isn’t always an immediate thought for startups. More often than not, Socius Insurance first encounters startups when they’re seeking management liability insurance. The second time they typically see startups is when they’re opening their doors and rolling out their products and services. Cyber insurance is often the third step. While cyber insurance is important to all companies, it’s not typically the lead-in for startups to engage Socius.

Big Data

Ryan believes big data will play a crucial role in managing risk as the industry progresses. Hiscox recently rolled out their 2018 Cyber Readiness report – where they surveyed over 4,000 different companies. This report noted that two-thirds of losses involved human error. It wasn’t all about third-party threats and how hackers are breaching systems. It’s the employees and staff that aren’t properly educated. This is allowing Hiscox to focus on educating their employees and customers to identify issues and minimize risk – highlighting a perfect use of analyzing big data and putting a plan into action.

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

With Mark Zuckerberg testifying before the Senate, the hot topic has been security, data, and privacy. Ryan doesn’t see this as a watershed moment for actionable change, however. He believes it is bringing to light the kinds of conversations we need to be having about privacy and security. Technology always blazes the trail for new ideas that permeate into culture and our everyday lives. Privacy has always been reactionary to that growth, and that’s something Ryan is hoping changes thanks to these discussions.


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