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Mr Hendrick goes to Washington

Bermuda-based re/insurance boss Greg Hendrick was among private sector leaders who participated in closed session, cybersecurity discussions at the White House on Wednesday with US president Joe Biden.

Mr Biden and Mr Hendrick, who is chief executive officer of Vantage Group Holdings Ltd, were joined by members of the president’s cabinet and national security team, and other private sector and education leaders.

After the high level discussion, Mr Hendrick commented how the collaborative sharing of key information could be a valuable tool in this type of problem solving.

The president told those gathered: “The federal government can’t meet this challenge alone. You have the power, the capacity and the responsibility, I believe, to raise the bar on cybersecurity,” Insurance Journal reported.

The event comes after the US experienced several large cyber attacks that have added urgency to the public and private sectors in containing such threats.

Those incidents include the attack on software firm SolarWinds that impacted several government agencies and the Colonial Pipeline hack that resulted in a gas shortage in some parts of the country.

Following the meeting, three breakout sessions were held, including the panel “Building Enduring Cybersecurity” that was co-chaired by Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Small Business Administrator Isabel Guzman.

Joining Mr Hendrick on the panel from the insurance sector were CEOs from Coalition, Resilience and Travelers.

Technology sector participants included CEOs from Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, IBN and ADP.

Discussion topics addressed securing the software supply chain, digitisation of small businesses, insurer incentivising adoption of good cybersecurity practices, and thinking differently about technology product use, to prevent cyber incidents.

Vantage said Mr Hendrick brought to the table his perspective and insights gained from more than 30 years of leadership experience in global insurance and risk management.

Mr Hendrick said: “By tackling current issues that disrupt businesses and place assets at increased risk, leaders can better understand the potential impact of those risks. There is opportunity in proactively understanding and identifying ways to mitigate the outcomes of threats such as cybersecurity breaches.

“By broadly sharing data about those efforts in a consistent, organised way, we can gain valuable insights to help mitigate and avoid these risks.

“The team at Vantage approaches complex issues such as this with relentless curiosity and creativity. We are pleased to share perspectives through private/public partnerships like this that can accelerate improvements and achieve broad national impact.”

Mr Hendrick added: “The insurance industry can play a vital role by bringing a more risk-based approach to providing coverage and pricing of cyber insurance. We need to be prepared and mitigate what has yet to be seen; a true catastrophic scenario where an attack is able to impact thousands of companies.

“While the federal government is prioritising and elevating cybersecurity like never before, the private sector should be taking the same approach. Turning all the stones over and working together to help solve this complex, growing international threat is undoubtedly the best way forward.”

Vantage said: “The initiative was an early part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s vitally important effort to tackle this challenge to national security.

“Recognising that governments alone are not positioned to disrupt and deter the sophisticated ransomware attacks that continue to impact assets and infrastructure globally, president Biden and his national security council are seeking valuable consultation and informed input from the private sectors to understand how they can work together to collectively improve the nation’s cybersecurity.”

Vantage added: “This comes on the back of decades of exponential growth in global cyber activity and connectivity, and at a time when much of our economy is rooted in electronic mediums that are vulnerable to increasingly sophisticated, malicious cyber attacks.

“Incidents of this nature affect the economic security of businesses and families in every part of the nation. A nationwide collaborative effort is therefore required to make solid progress towards de-escalating and deterring these threats. Vantage Group is pleased to play a critical role in this most challenging and important effort.”

Vantage is a Class of 2020 company, formed in Bermuda to capitalise on rising insurance rates.

It launched last December with $1 billion of private-equity backing.

Global investment firms The Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman are lead investors.

The company’s subsidiary, Vantage Risk Ltd, is a Class 4 Bermuda re/insurer.

Greg Hendrick, chief executive officer of Vantage Group Holdings Ltd (File photograph)

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Published August 27, 2021 at 7:57 am (Updated August 27, 2021 at 8:07 am)

Mr Hendrick goes to Washington

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