Why we founded Coalition
Background: the initial focus of Coalition is a cyber insurance product that provides the most comprehensive coverage for risks posed by the digitization of everything. However, you may not be aware that our long term plan is to democratize access to the technology and services needed to prevent loss in the first place, and to mitigate and recover from it when it occurs. This is because the overarching purpose of Coalition, and the reason we founded the company, is to solve cyber risk.
How we got here
Cybersecurity is broken. My co-founder John Hering and I, as well as the rest of the team at Coalition, have spent considerable amounts of our lives founding and helping build a number of leading security companies including Lookout, Cloudflare, OpenDNS, and HackerOne. A few of us have also spent time countering adversaries in cyberspace within the US Intelligence Community. In other words, we’ve experienced first-hand the difficulty of protecting a business (and ourselves) from cyber risk. Some of the time we’ve even experienced modest bouts of success.
Unfortunately, the state of the world is that nothing is or will ever be 100 percent secure, no one can defend themselves 100 percent of the time and, when something bad happens, we’re each left to pick up the pieces. Despite over $90 billion of annual spending by consumers and businesses on cybersecurity to defend themselves, the problem is only growing. This year cyber attacks and technology failures are expected to trigger over $1 trillion in recovery costs globally. Not only is technology not solving the problem, often times technology is the problem.
This is particularly problematic if you aren't a large corporation or national government. Small and midsize businesses not only bear the brunt of the cost, but are the least equipped to respond. In the face of such a massive market failure, many business owners rightly ask when the government will step in to provide cybersecurity as a public good, as with national security. After all, most of us don’t spend an inordinate amount of time or effort defending the land, sea, and air around us. Yet in the fourth domain, cyber, a former Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) recently told me: "you’re on your own."
You’re not on your own
Any time an industry faces a shared risk–much less every industry in the case of cyber risk–it never makes sense for any one company to combat the risk alone. And yet this is the predominant approach to cybersecurity today. We are on our own.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Coalition is changing the way companies manage cyber risk. Instead of wasting untold sums on security theater, we apply capital, technology, and data to provide tools that actually prevent and mitigate loss, along with expert response and insurance coverage when all else fails. Over time, Coalition will offer an all-out security platform to address what is now the single most pervasive risk facing individuals and businesses–cyber risk. And we’ll offer it for free to all who sign up.
When things do fail, we use that data to build better insurance and security products. After all, solving cyber risk doesn’t mean solving cybersecurity failure, but rather helping companies recover, survive, and remain resilient to loss.
The result is far fewer breaches; far less cost to detect, contain, and recover when one occurs; and the backstop of insurance to make a company whole again. And as our number of customers grows, so does the scale and efficiency of our efforts. After all, there is safety in numbers. (Huge costs savings, too.)
For these reasons, we believe insurance to be the primary, but not exclusive, solution to cyber risk.
A new type of insurance company
We now live at a time where a cyber attack, technology failure, or human error can cause everything from data theft to supply chain disruptions, hospital shutdowns, hotel room lockouts, blackouts, and even nuclear centrifuge explosions–literally the entire spectrum of known risk. The Internet has reached in, grabbed hold, and made the world we once knew totally unrecognizable.
Yet the world of insurance is, sadly, totally recognizable. Outdated approaches to both insurance and security are not working. It seemed clear that there should be a platform to democratize access to tools that prevent and mitigate loss for businesses, and to help them recover even when their security fails. Coalition was founded to do exactly this by combining cybersecurity with insurance, and working with customers before, during and after an incident.
Our (not so) secret master plan is:
Sell a comprehensive insurance product to protect businesses from rapidly emerging cyber and technological risks
Use the money from that to invest in an all-out security platform with free tools, technology, and intelligence to protect all of our policyholders.
Use the data from that to build better insurance products, and even more effective tools, technology, and intelligence.
The more people that join our coalition, the better we are able to accomplish our mission to solve cyber risk.
Joshua Motta Founder & CEO