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Speaking to a group of insurance industry experts, Federal Insurance Office Director Michael McRaith recently argued that the Federal government “has the backs of insurers and their clients as they seek to protect themselves from, and adapt to, the fast-evolving threat of cyber attacks.”

While speaking at the Networks Financial Institute 11th Annual Public Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., McRaith said, “we want to support the insurance industry as it seeks to protect itself from cyber incidents. Cyber protection should be as strong as it is for any other financial institution.”

McRaith, who heads up the FIO, which is part of the Treasury Department, assured his audience that Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin have “been actively collaborating with regular law enforcement communities … state government agencies and others in developing a cyber strategy.” McRaith also noted the work that President Obama has been doing on cybersecurity including the creation of the Cyber Threat Intelligent Integration Center as well as “establish[ing] a unified approach to strengthen and maintain critical function amidst cyber threats in 16 sectors, including financial services.”

McRaith also outlined a series of steps the federal government is taking to aid the insurance industry specifically in combating cyber attacks. One example is the push for adoption of voluntary protection standards, which provides a risk-based approach to manage cyber security that can help manage insurers or policyholders’ risk profile. This framework does not replace existing approaches to enterprise risk management but instead can better inform those approaches when risk is cyber-related,” McRaith said.

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