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Opportunity: Cyber Insurance - Deep Science Ventures

Join Deep Science Venture's efforts to make cyber insurance an effective lever of societal risk reduction via next-gen risk transfer through venture.

The Challenge

Every organisation must manage its risk landscape either by accepting, mitigating or transferring. Insurance and its derivatives typically act as the risk transfer measure, but this only works well where there is significant and largely stable historic data to use as the basis of models. Unfortunately, this means that many emerging threats are largely uninsurable and that’s a huge problem for society.

Losses from cyber attacks are ballooning ($600bn vs. $208bn from more widely recognised natural catastrophes – Allianz) but there is still little data to base models on, the threat landscape changes continually and is highly correlated, all of which make pricing of risk transfer near impossible. This is creating a supply side challenge in which customers both cannot get the cover they need and don’t trust the products and insurers cannot serve the market effectively.

Critically, this isn’t just a problem for major companies and insurers, it is a major societal problem – from the Colonial pipeline attack resulting in fuel shortages or the indiscriminate ransomware that paralysed the NHS for several days. We’re only just seeing the low-hanging fruit of the potential disruption. Few of the attacks so far are particularly advanced and should be easily managed by the 600+ tools available on the market. The challenge isn’t a lack of tools but a lack of behaviour change from an organisational perspective.

The opportunity for you

In partnership with the United Kingdom’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport which oversees the UK’s Cyber security policy, GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre, DSV is building a company to address the underlying constraints that are preventing insurers properly jumping into the cyber field by finding ways to properly price the risk and share across risk transfer markets. This will likely use much more dynamic or smart contracts, simulations over back-testing, accounting for behavioural intent, and a much closer link to client defence infrastructure.

The role is to initially work out the best possible way to approach this challenge, working with DSV's tried-and-tested frameworks and alongside product, academic and insurance industry advisors and discussing approaches with a wide range of market participants and weighing up approaches at every level. As the way forward becomes clear, you will then take a leadership role in a new company turning these approaches into a commercial reality and start to build out a team, raise independent finance from expert investors and gradually spin-out an independent high-growth company.

The offer

Joining DSV is a fantastic opportunity to develop concepts for and launch your own health tech startup. Working with them and their current founders, you’ll have access to a completely new kind of environment for creating science companies, one that does not start with university IP, but with a systematic rework of an opportunity area from first principles.

DSV will provide a competitive monthly consultancy fee whilst you’re developing the concept(s) for your new venture and look to either spin-out as a new (or even several new) companies or build within Vida as most appropriate for the opportunities identified, you'll be equipped with a meaningful equity stake and resourcing to achieve the vision in either route.

Who should apply?

A burning passion to make cyber insurance effective with strong opinions (weakly held!) on the failings of existing insurance and ART mechanisms for markets with rapidly shifting dynamics.

Ideally, deep experience and network in the existing risk modelling or secondary Alternative Risk Transfer (ART) markets.

A good working knowledge of the nature of cyber security threats, ideally with first-hand experience in identifying, mitigating and preventing across a wide array of infrastructure and organisation types.

One or more of the following would be ideal but not essential if you have a strong analytical background:

  • Smart contracts (in deFi and oracle design)
  • Advanced modelling of risk data
  • Agent based or behavioural models, interfacing with existing security products to create aggregate measures.

Find out more and apply here

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