Only a minority of London market entities have sufficient cyber defences in place to resist a hack, such as that which crippled telecoms firm TalkTalk earlier this year, reports a poll from.
Only 36% of replies to a survey by the insurance technology firm, conducted at its London Market Conference 2015, said they “definitely” had sufficient measures in place to withstand a major cyber-attack.
Another 30% said they only felt “partially protected”, while 16% said they were “insufficiently protected”, while 18% – equally unassuredly – said they felt “unsure”.
The London market has taken a lead in insuring cyber risk for corporate customers, but itself remains at risk of attack because of the sensitive nature and relative importance of its business.
“As custodians of vast amounts of data, insurers are also aware that they, too, are vulnerable to cyber breaches – and the reputational damage that this can cause,” said Adrian Guttridge, executive director of Xchanging Global Insurance Services.
Figures from the UK Government in September showed 74% of small businesses and 90% of larger organisations had suffered a breach of their cyber security over the past year.
“The insurance industry is grappling with the extensive threat of cyber-attacks from an underwriting and risk management perspective and, in the absence of enough meaningful data, modelling the risks involved remains a grave challenge,” said Guttridge.
“The recent cyber-attack on TalkTalk is the latest in a lengthy list of high-profile hacks of personal data held by government and commercial organisations. Insurance companies must take very seriously the extent of the risks they face and ensure their cyber security measures are constantly reviewed and updated,” he said.
“They should also be mindful that, in some areas, a collaborative, industry approach in which knowledge and skills are shared among peers, may be the most effective way to strengthen cyber defences,” he added.