Almost half of UK insurers face up to 60 cyber incidents per year

UK insurers are facing an unprecedented number of cyber security threats, with the increased risk having a wide impact on premium prices, according to a report by cloud computing specialist iomart.

The report – The state of cyber security in the UK insurance industry – was produced in partnership with Oxford Economics and surveyed 500 UK-based cyber security strategy decision makers. Extrapolating responses that came specifically from the insurance industry showed insurers are at significantly higher risk than the average UK business with almost half (49%) reporting between 40 and 60 cyber security incidents in the last 12 months. This is compared to a UK average of 24.

Of all the threats regularly cited it was malware that provided the most concern to insurers with 67% of respondents highlighting it the greatest concern to their organisation.

The vast majority of insurance companies polled (90%) noted an increase in the premium prices for cyber insurance in the last two years. This outstrips the overall average of 72%. The report also raises the prospect of an increasingly complex picture in the near future, suggesting that as the pace of technological change continues to increase, cyber security issues are being exacerbated by the rise in flexible working continuing post-pandemic.

Some 62% of participants said the increased prevalence of remote working was moderately or significantly challenging. The advancing pace of technology (54%) also featured, as effects from the pandemic have complicated organisations’ ability to protect themselves from cyber threats.
Reece Donovan, CEO at iomart, said: “The changes we have all experienced in the last three years have left a lasting mark on the business landscape. There are few places we are seeing that more acutely than in cyber security.

“The report shows an ongoing increase in the number of breaches being suffered by organisations. And the results indicate that whilst there’s no one single reason for this, the insurance sector is suffering more than most.”

He added that the barrier to entry for cyber criminals is also much lower than it ever was. “Someone can set up a devastatingly effective ransomware or malware business from their bedroom, for as little as £50. This means that all organisations, irrespective of their size, are now potential targets.”

Donovan points out that the industry is responding to the threat strongly, evidenced by consistent investment, relatively high levels of confidence in threat repulsion, and the trend towards making cyber resilience a boardroom issue. “However, there’s no room for complacency. Continued testing and development of the cyber security response is essential, particularly given the speed at which hackers are advancing.”

    Share Story:


Cyber risk in the transportation industry
The connected nature of the transport and logistics industries makes them an attractive target for hackers, with potentially disruptive and costly consequences. Between June 2020 and June 2021, the transportation industry saw an 186% increase in weekly ransomware attacks. At the same time, regulations and cyber security standards are lacking – creating weak postures across the board. This podcast explores the key risks. Published April 2022.

Political risk: A fresh perspective
CIR’s editor, Deborah Ritchie speaks with head of PCS at Verisk, Tom Johansmeyer about the confluence of political, nat cat and pandemic risks in a world that is becoming an increasingly risky place in which to do business. Published February 2022.