Cyber crime constitutes for companies today one of the most challenging effects of digitalisation and the increased networking of devices. The risks are global and affect every market, segment and company, whether large or small. Munich Re is in the process of developing solutions for its clients that include services and preventive measures in addition to insurance. We work together with leading tech companies in order to take advantage of the latest technical advances. In this context, Munich Re is working with Team8, a leading think tank and company creation platform. The company, with headquarters in Tel Aviv and New York, builds start-ups specializing in cyber resilience and data science.
Because of its unique geopolitical situation, Israel has become a key source of innovation, with a strong cyber security ecosystem. Team8’s founders originally worked in the Israeli military’s Technology & Intelligence Unit, and therefore have excellent knowledge and experience. Team8 continues to recruit top talent from such elite organisations. This makes it possible to get insights into the attacker mindset. In addition, since it launched 5 years ago, Team8 is networked with a large community of industry experts.
Team8 collects funding to launch various companies, each with a unique approach for developing security-based solutions for different industries. In their initial round of investment, Team8 has already successfully set up five companies, one of which develops software that neutralises malware before it can harm infiltrated businesses. Another start-up is working on new ways to secure industrial control systems.
Accelerate innovation to increase cyber resilience
In Team8’s second company-building fund, they have nominated a leading company from various sectors to join them as strategic investors. The idea behind this approach is that, by working directly with contacts in the industry, Team8 can develop solutions that are better tailored to their needs in practice. The goal is to accelerate innovation in the industry, in order to increase cyber resilience and minimise any opportunities for hackers.
The insurance industry is represented by Munich Re. We can thus benefit from Team8’s expertise and network, and gain an even deeper understanding of cyber risks and how they are continually changing. Moreover, we get access to additional potential partners. As for Team8, it achieves important domain know-how about managing cyber risk, from the perspective of a global primary insurer and reinsurer. This is a key contribution, because the companies that are to be launched need to identify insurers’ and their clients’ specific needs, so that they can develop solutions for them. A joint team is already working on proposals on how to make cryptocurrencies even more secure.
Torsten Jeworrek, Member of the Board of Management at Munich Re, sees the investment in and partnering with Team8 as a milestone in setting up an ecosystem covering all aspects of cyber security. “Our cyber risk solutions go well beyond mere insurance. We pay particular attention to loss prevention, and that makes the cyber-security and data-intelligence expertise of Team8 and its partners so important.”
Nadav Zafrir, co-founder and CEO of Team8, states: “When we started our journey into the insurance space, we were very impressed with Munich Re’s unique grasp of cyber risk, and its readiness to embrace innovation. Having cyber insurance is becoming standard for companies at the international level. That is why having experienced cyber-security start-ups work with a leading global insurer constitutes a win-win situation.”
The industry’s increasing digitalisation and interconnectedness will continue to create new risks for companies. Demand for prevention, recovery services and tailored insurance cover has been skyrocketing. Cyber risk constitutes a significant challenge for the insurance industry, mostly due to the potential accumulation of losses and the continually changing technologies and risks. Loss prevention therefore constitutes one of the most important aspects of managing the risks.
Team8, its partners and investors further extend Munich Re’s ecosystem, which helps us develop innovative solutions to protect against cyber attacks and offer support to companies in implementing them.