Bank of England to examine insurers’ cyber defences

Following Bank of England governor Mark Carney’s call for insurers to be regularly assessed on their ability to cope with the ‘adaptive nature’ of cyber threats, the UK’s central bank is to conduct a survey to check progress in the industry.

A survey of the financial sector three years ago found that despite firms becoming increasingly aware of the need for improved cyber security, industry bosses remained uninformed about the risks posed to their organisations by hackers.

Citing the 2012 report, the Bank of England said that 97% of respondents at the time reported that they discussed technology and cyber resilience during top management meetings, but just half said these issues were discussed monthly or quarterly.

The 2015 survey aims to find out if the same insurers have made progress, asking those working in the industry questions on a range of topics from cyber security awareness in senior management to incidents the firm would investigate.

“Given the significant increase in cyber-attacks on financial firms since this survey was completed, we would expect that proportion to have increased in the ensuing period,” the Bank of England said in a statement announcing the release of the survey. Insurers have ten weeks to respond to the Bank of England’s survey.