UK insurers rank cyber risk as number one concern

UK insurers are feeling a ‘high level of anxiety about cyber risk’, according to a study by fiscal think tank the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI) and PwC.

The report said that cyber risk was listed as a primary concern for UK, North American and African insurers. The CSFI and PwC’s 'Banana Skins' survey, conducted in March and April, received more than 800 responses from insurers across 54 countries.

Introducing the report, Andrew Hilton, director at CSFI, described the ‘new’ threat of cyber risk as one that is particularly worrying given the exponential rise in the sector’s use of data.

“[It’s] a new risk for us, but one which leads the pack as far as UK and US respondents are concerned. Here, the chief concern is the vast quantity of data held in the ‘cloud’. Major breaches are inevitable, and will do both financial and reputational damage,” he said.

Regulators’ increasing demands on insurers to store more and more details about their clients was only heightening data security concerns in the industry, the report added.

“There is a widespread fear within the industry and among observers that the volume of regulation is swamping the industry; it costs too much, it takes up too much management time and it kills competition,” Hilton said.