Crypto Firefighters

The crypto ecosystem needs to step up and provide solutions that increase safety and security for investors, especially those overlooked by the traditional support systems available to large organizations.

Bright green circles with cryptocurrency logos in the circles over a black background. In the center of the circles is a large circle with a 'E' Evertas logo and shield

At Evertas, we believe insurance can be a force for good, supporting standards and frameworks that speak to the outcomes we desire, rather than dictating surface-level checklists. To this end, we’re also involved in multiple industry initiatives that bring together the most talented cybersecurity practitioners, people who are willing and capable of doing difficult technical work in crypto.

The crypto industry has evolved faster than most, quickly attracting a mountain of investment and innovation … and a rush of high-profile hacks, scams, schemes, and collapses. This isn’t dissimilar to a lot of industries, but crypto is such an exciting arena with such massive potential that hyperbole and dogma tend to dominate conversations.

By our count, there were approximately 350 loss events in crypto last year resulting in a total loss of more than $1.8B. And “our count” only includes major incidents – the total number is much greater. Mitigating the risk of innovation in crypto is why we are in business, but addressing the problem of victims of crime doesn’t stop there.

Despite the novel, decentralized culture of the crypto ecosystem, many of the emerging threats follow known patterns of traditional cybercrime. Crypto crime shares many characteristics with things we’ve seen before including the discrepancy in support for institutional versus consumer victims. We can’t wait for this to improve on its own. Deliberate, proactive measures are needed now, and we need to do better than we did in the past.

Care for Individual Investors

I’ve seen firsthand through my work in law enforcement the awful and often heartbreaking gap at the bottom of the market. I’ve personally seen how helping victims of basic cybercrime who’ve lost hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to things like ransomware attacks, stolen credit card numbers, phishing, and identity theft stretches the capabilities and resources of traditional law enforcement.

Expecting them to now protect individual crypto investors from the likes of rug pulls, wallet-drainers, or pig butchering – not to mention attacks from authoritarian nation-state hackers – is just out of the question. As an industry, we must do more than publish aspirational commitments and good intentions; it’s time to pitch in and help.

The crypto ecosystem needs to step up and provide solutions that increase safety and security for investors, especially those overlooked by the traditional support systems available to large organizations.

Investing in the Crypto Security Community

Groups that ease knowledge sharing across the security community are critical. Participating in these groups keeps our team sharp on best practices, and new approaches and technologies. It also provides us with the latest intelligence on emerging threats and security issues from across the industry.

One of the initiatives we support is the Security Alliance (SEAL), a collaboration among some of the best-known companies and people in the blockchain space working together on common security problems.

For example, SEAL runs a volunteer response team that supports projects under attack and investigates the root cause of security incidents. They work like “crypto smokejumpers.” Most importantly, this group of specialists is dedicated to solving pressing security challenges in crypto. Today SEAL published a proposal for public comment to provide safe harbor protections for qualified security researchers who step in to help during active attacks. It’s a risky proposition targeting a profoundly serious problem.

That’s why Evertas is proud to be the only crypto insurance company to take part in SEAL: it aligns with our mission to mitigate risk through creative approaches. SEAL is one of a small handful of groups that will have an outsized impact on the industry in the coming months. In the weeks to come, we’ll share more about our work with these other important initiatives. Evertas intends to be in the thick of it, working towards achieving the goal of a regulated and reliable global currency.

From 2018 to 2020, Evertas EVP Nick Selby served as the Director of Cyber Intelligence and Investigations at the NYPD Intelligence Bureau.