During the Emerging Technology and IT Security breakout session at the 8th annual Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council Meeting, I framed the discussion with the following thought: while emerging technology keeps CIOs busy during the day creating information, IT security and keeping that information protected keeps them up at night.
Emerging technology topics discussed at the session included big data, cloud adoption, security concerns about these and technologies such as drones, wearables and Internet of Things. We talked about Progressive CIO Ray Voelker’s statement in a recent INN interview that they are “way ahead” on their big data strategy and how this is a bold statement in the insurance industry. Emerging technology is producing a large volume of data, at increasing velocity and insurers in general are not prepared for mining the value. HSB’s recent acquisition of mobile IoT startup Waygum and John Hancock’s recently announced partnership with Vitality were discussed as early examples of IoT and wearables being considered for new innovative insurance products. The general assessment of the discussion group was that for many technologies like wearables and IoT, the insurance industry is in the early days of exploring use for insurance products and customer engagement.
Turning to IT security, board and general business awareness around IT security has increased, with the focus shifting from risk elimination to risk mitigation. Auditing of vendors, ethical hacking (use of white hat firms), and scenario planning can avoid or identify vulnerabilities and improve incident response. CIOs are also finding it difficult to define metrics for communicating IT security needs to their boards and finding best practices for funding IT security initiatives. Also, for 2015, NAIC has increased their focus on IT security issues in the industry and formed a Cybersecurity Task Force that recently published a draft document with 12 principles intended to “establish insurance regulatory guidance that promotes coordination and protects insurance consumers.” The discussion group generally agreed that IT security will remain a top concern, and that sharing of best practices and use of NAIC and NIST standards will be helpful in approaching IT security issues.
If you’re interested in talking more about emerging technologies or IT security, please feel free to email me to set up a complimentary 30 minute consultation.
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- New Brief: Wearable Technology and Insurance
- Mitigation versus Prevention: Three Questions Insurers Must Answer In Order to Evolve in a IoT and Big Data World
Upcoming Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council Meetings
The Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council is a free, moderated knowledge-sharing community of nearly 400 insurer CIO members. Members represent a cross-section of property/casualty, life/annuity, and health insurers, and range from the very small to the largest companies in the industry. Some of our upcoming 2015 events include:
- Novarica Research Council Impact Awards
- Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council Special Interest Group: Regional Property/Casualty
- Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council Special Interest Group: Large Property/Casualty
- Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council Special Interest Group: Life