The company is taking a new approach to collecting cyber risk analytics data, but some in the industry are sceptical it will translate into underwriting models
Arceo.ai has received $37m in investment to expand the reach of its product, which blends cyber security and insurance in a single package.
The company hopes to plug its cyber risk data analytics into the underwriting process of insurers, and the risk management strategies devised by their customers in order to improve overall cyber protection.
The funding round was led by venture capital companies Lightspeed Venture Partners and Founders Fund, and is the only investment it has announced since launching in February this year.
Arceo.ai CEO Vishaal Hariprasad said: “We founded Arceo to create a new framework to solve cyber risk.
“By blending cybersecurity, threat intelligence, and insurance into one platform, we believe we can unlock new solutions to make companies quantifiably more secure.”
At present, Arceo’s products and services are targeted at SMEs.
How does Arceo use data analytics to reduce cyber insurance risk?
A lack of cyber risk data is one of the major reasons cyber insurance hasn’t grown to the same level as other lines of business in the industry.
Arceo claims to have solved this issue by developing the critical ability to translate raw security data into insurance knowledge, giving underwriters more data to assess the risk behind a policy.
In practice, this means analysing the cyber vulnerability of an individual enterprise using automated scans of commonly used cloud infrastructure to ensure that business risk is weighted against larger cyber attack trends when pricing a policy.
The company was founded by Hariprasad and Raj Shah, both of whom spent their former careers in military cyber security analytics — but it also has a panel of expert advisers, which includes former GCHQ director Sir Iain Lobban
Arif Janmohamed, partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, said: “Arceo’s founders bring a unique set of enterprise and military expertise to tackle an increasingly global threat.
“Addressing the security risks that organisations face today needs the kind of defense mindset and technology expertise that the Arceo team is bringing to the market to deliver a modern and end-to-end cyber insurance platform.”
Consultancy believes success will be based on whether Arceo data analytics translate to underwriting models
Insurance governance consultancy Mactavish is encouraged by Arceo’s approach to providing underwriters with more accurate data.
Yet the firm remains sceptical that the data itself can be translated into better underwriting by insurers.
Technical director Rob Smart said: “The key challenge in our view, will be the extent to which these insights can be made not just reliable but also actionable by underwriters, as well by insurers.
“Historically, insurance as an industry has done a good job with processing certain types of data to inform risk judgements, but had much less success in other areas where the burgeoning insurance possibilities of ‘big data’ have sometimes proved difficult to translate into bread and butter underwriting and pricing models.”
“Arceo is definitely one to watch in our view to see whether, and how quickly, it can evolve into a useful, practical risk grading tool, whilst also supporting companies themselves in making better cyber security investment decisions – twin objectives which may not always be fully aligned.”