A start-up is promising wealthy individuals from Silicon Valley, Hollywood and Wall Street $1m of protection if they rely on its 24/7 cyber defence centres to keep their data secure from attack.
Rubica was founded by a former British policeman who set up in Silicon Valley managing physical security for tech entrepreneurs, before starting the company to protect their data from attacks that could empty bank accounts or ruin reputations.
The start-up, backed by investors including the accelerator run by Uber co-founder Garrett Camp, will announce this week a partnership with insurance group Pure to promise $1m in cyber insurance to anyone using its service. This will be among the first cyber insurance products to be offered to individuals, not companies.
Roderick Jones, founder and chief executive of Rubica, said the company was able to calculate risk for customers using its platform, because everything customers do online is done through their network. He said wealthy customers had turned to Rubica for protection if they do not work for big companies or are concerned about protecting their family at home.
“There’s a lot of innovation in cyber security right now and none of it has really been offered to the consumer,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you are very wealthy, you can’t go and hire the right security people.”
Rubica started last year selling to Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs, who may be most aware of the dangers of cyber attack, but now sells across the US, including to Hollywood, Wall Street, and politicians in Washington DC. The US presidential election showed campaigns could be damaged by information exposed in a cyber attack, after the Russians published emails found on the network of the Democratic National Committee.
“If you are a politician and someone trades on your name, being hacked is a bad thing,” Mr Jones said. “Everything has value: digital property can be ransomed or used in other ways. People are just beginning to understand that.”
Martin Harley, chief operating officer of the Pure group of insurance companies, said it focused on educating its customers about risk, to reduce the chances they need to claim.
“Rubica’s software and concierge service fits our model well — members will have the confidence that they have an increased level of safety online, access to expert advice, and will be covered should they incur an incident,” he said.
Rubica’s investors include LHV in New York, Upfront Ventures in Los Angeles and Expa and Slow Ventures in San Francisco. It counts Robert Hannigan, the former director of the UK’s GCHQ, among its advisers.
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