Former DHS chief offers cyber insurance package

Cyberattacks like the ones that hit JPMorgan Chase, Home Depot and Target only seem to be getting worse, and former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has one way for companies to protect themselves.

Ridge on Monday announced a new cyber insurance package that he said should make it easier for companies to safeguard their networks and their bottom lines.

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“What we have seen is the sophistication of these attacks continue to elevate,” Ridge said at a launch event in London, according to Bloomberg news service. “Who would have thought that JPMorgan, with its security budget, could be hacked into? Now a lot of people are thinking if it could happen to them, it could happen to us too.” 

The first Homeland Security secretary’s new company, Ridge Insurance Solutions Company, is teaming up with the insurance giant Lloyd’s of London to sell cyber insurance coverage.

Ridge said the new insurance is designed to help prevent those types of attacks.

In order to obtain insurance, companies will need to make sure their cyber defenses are up to snuff, which in and of itself should make businesses more secure, he predicted.

"This is not just about insurance but helping and incentivizing companies to manage their cyber operations more effectively,” Ridge said in a statement.

The concept of cyber insurance has gained in popularity in recent months, as a seemingly endless deluge of hackers have stolen hundreds of millions of people’s information and captured headlines around the country.

Just last week, JPMorgan Chase confirmed that hackers on its system stole personal data about 76 million household bank accounts and another 7 million small business accounts. 

Some critics say that the government should be doing more to help out the cyber insurance market, such as by making it mandatory for contractors. 

Despite the wave of data breaches, lawmakers have Capitol Hill have largely been unable to mount a legislative response.