London must seize the moment to remain a global cyber insurance hub as risks rise due to COVID-19

A new report launched today [11 December] by the City of London Corporation in association with Accenture identifies cyber-insurance as one of the next key markets of growth for London, as the City and the UK emerge from the pandemic.

The report, entitled ‘The Future of Cyber Insurance – Next Steps for the London Market’, finds that cyber-attacks now stand as one of the greatest risks to the world economy and the ‘new normal’ of post-pandemic life as more people use digital technologies.

The National Cyber Security Centre recently published data covering September 2019 to August 2020 showing a 10% increase in cyber-incidents with 194 identified as COVID-related.

The new report finds that business leaders have been faced with rising costs in cyber security. Approximately 69% of business leaders say that staying ahead of attackers is a constant battle and the costs are unsustainable.

London is well-placed to meet growing demand for cyber insurance and remain the pre-eminent global hub. The report outlines how London’s cyber security ecosystem and insurance industry can collaborate to achieve this and the benefits it will have for the broader UK economy.

Key challenges and opportunities include:

  • Ensuring the UK takes a lead in setting standards that underpin cyber insurance products and sharing data to help shape the global cyber market;
  • Increasing engagement and outreach to emerging cyber insurance markets to articulate the benefits of placing business in London;
  • Supporting the cyber resilience of UK PLC as domestic demand for cyber insurance grows.

Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness, said:

“London is already a world leader in both the insurance and cyber security sectors, so it is only natural for it to take a leading role in the cyber insurance space.

“The City of London has an important part to play in supporting the capital’s re-emergence from the pandemic.

“Promoting London as a global cyber insurance hub by convening a group of cross-industry stakeholders will be key to its success.

“Not only does it have the potential of bringing economic benefits to the UK economy, but it will also improve the cyber-resilience of UK businesses more broadly– ultimately helping to keep us all more cyber secure.”

Max Richter, a managing director in Accenture’s Insurance practice who leads on cyber insurance, said:

“No one could have predicted the challenges of this year for the insurance sector.

“With a rapid shift to home working, businesses accelerating their digital transformations and cyber-attacks becoming more sophisticated than ever - the need for dependable cyber insurance has never been greater.

“London is fortunate to have some of the world’s leading insurance and cyber security players which makes it a vital cyber insurance hub, not just to protect UK businesses from cyber risks, but the whole world.”

Gerry Grimstone, Minister for Investment said:

‘’I very much welcome this report, focussing on one of the key markets of growth for London and the UK.

“The London market stands out globally as a leader in cyber insurance and plays a crucial role in boosting growth in this sector.

“From our competitive and world-class ecosystem of law firms and vibrant insurtech community, to our leading security firms, we will continue to support the UK’s cyber security ecosystem to help UK companies to develop and export. Additionally, the the Department for International Trade will be hosting a Global Resilience Summit on 23-24 March 2021.