The Bank of England wants to ensure financial sector firms are adequately protected against hackers

Bank of England to query insurers cyber-protection

The Bank of England is sending questionnaires to the UK's largest insurers to make sure they are properly protected against cyber-attacks.

There are fears that the industry is becoming a prime target for hackers and Bank governor Mark Carney recently warned that attempts to compromise IT systems by malicious actors have become one of the key risks to the financial sector .

The surveys ask for details on the companies' defences against online threats after the Bank's Financial Policy Committee (FPC) recently recommended that online security tests should be broadened out to cover all major firms in the financial sector, with the net being widened to insurance firms.

As well as detailing their level of protection, the insurers are also being asked to provide information on the cyber-insurance they underwrite and what exposure they have to claims from policyholders that have suffered losses from online attacks.

Speaking after the publication of the Bank's Financial Stability Report in July, Carney said the "adaptive nature of the threat means that ways of managing the risk must continually evolve" and called for resilience to be "regularly assessed".

Insurance firms fear they are becoming increasingly attractive targets for online criminals, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this month, primarily due to the high levels of personal data they hold and process in cloud-based storage systems.

The study, conducted by the Centre of the Study of Financial Innovation, warned major breaches were inevitable, with data held by insurance firms including credit card information, medical information, and other underwriting information.

Recent articles

Info Message

Our sites use cookies to support some functionality, and to collect anonymous user data.

Learn more about IET cookies and how to control them