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Government and Insurance – Lessons for Managing Cybercrime with Anja Shortland Professor of Political Economy at King’s College, London

Date / time
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

The recent rise in extortive cybercrime has caused great concern among policy makers. There is a common perception that cyber insurance has failed to encourage corporate customers to invest sufficiently in their cybersecurity and resilience. Moreover, insurance has been accused of fuelling the ransomware epidemic by funding ever higher ransoms, handling negotiations and facilitating payments. But is it realistic to expect that insurers contain the problem of cybercrime, absolving governments of the responsibility to act? This talk explores under what conditions competing private insurers can jointly create sustainable insurance products that serve both the needs of their customers and the public interest. Evidence from other insurance markets suggests that a fully private regime is unlikely for cyber insurance. Instead, a future regime will probably take the form of a public-private partnership, with governments providing assistance to coordinate actions, contain criminal threats, or insure systemic risks.


Anja Shortland is Professor of Political Economy at King’s College, London. Anja studies private governance in the world’s trickiest markets: hostages, fine art, and antiquities—and how people live, trade, and invest in complex and hostile territories. She has published widely on the subject of maritime crime and was part of the World Bank team developing land-side approaches to Somali piracy. Her book Kidnap: Inside the Ransom Business (OUP 2019) examines the role of insurance in ordering the market for hostages. Lost Art (Unicorn 2021) studies how insurers created sophisticated institutions to reduce the profitability of art crime, strengthen the property rights of former owners, and facilitate amicable resolutions between current and former owners.


Professor Anja Shortland


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