Hiscox Head of Cyber comments on the WannaCry ransomware attacks

London, UK (15 May 2017) - Matt Webb, Group Head of Cyber at Hiscox, comments on the WannaCry ransomware attacks:

“We have seen a rise in ransomware attacks over the last 24 months. Generally these incidents are resolved fairly quickly; for example if the insured has good IT hygiene they can simply restore from back-ups. They are normally small, but Friday's incident exploits a Microsoft vulnerability which has allowed the malware to spread more easily.

“Hackers are incredibly crafty at finding vulnerabilities. But there are three things businesses can do to keep on top of ransomware attacks. Firstly, keep patching up to date. Secondly, do regular phishing training with staff. And lastly, have good back up procedures in place to aid recovery.

“We conducted a study of 3000 companies in the UK, US and Germany that showed that over half (53%) of businesses are ill-prepared to deal with cyber attacks. It revealed that US businesses tend to have better processes and procedures in place.

“Costs to businesses are not limited to any initial ransom payments. The investigation and restoration of files can be prohibitive, and there may also be business interruption costs.

“Friday’s events remind us how devastating ransomware attacks can be and how quickly they can spread."

About Matt Webb

Matthew Webb is Group Head of Cyber at Hiscox, responsible for delivering the Group’s Cyber strategy and managing their cyber risk exposure. Matt began his career at Hiscox over ten years ago, most recently working as Product Head, managing the Technology account which provides insurance solutions for over 40,000 technology companies. Hiscox began writing cyber insurance in the late 1990s and currently sells specific cyber products through five of their seven business units. They have solutions for organisations of all sizes – from entrepreneurs to multi-nationals.

Matt not only focuses on refining and simplifying Hiscox products to better reflect customer’s needs; he also works with other insurers, brokers, industry bodies and government to promote the cyber insurance market. Matt has regularly been quoted in the insurance press as an authority on cyber as well as speaking at many events including PCI London, Fintech Week, ABI Data Conference, All Party Parliamentary Group for Insurance and Financial Services and the Insurance Times Cyber Insight conference.

Hiscox Cyber policies cover ransomware attacks, typically under three areas:

  • Cyber extortion - expert fees to investigate the situation as well as reimbursement of the ransom
  • Hacker damage – the costs to repair and reconstitute computer systems, programmes and data
  • Cyber business interruption – increased costs of working and loss of income due to being unable to use computer systems, programmes or data.


For further information please contact:

Hiscox Ltd
Kylie O’Connor / Abi Clark
+44 (0) 20 7448 6656 / +44 (0) 20 7448 6470
[email protected] / [email protected]

About The Hiscox Group

Hiscox is a global specialist insurer, headquartered in Bermuda and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). Our ambition is to be a respected specialist insurer with a diverse portfolio by product and geography. We believe that building balance between catastrophe-exposed business and less volatile local specialty business gives us opportunities for profitable growth throughout the insurance cycle. It’s a long-standing strategy which in 2016 helped generate gross premiums written of £2,402.6 million and a record profit before tax of £354.5 million.

The Hiscox Group employs over 2,300 people in 13 countries, and has customers worldwide. Through the retail businesses in the UK, Europe and the US, we offer a range of specialist insurance for professionals and business customers as well as homeowners. Internationally traded, bigger ticket business and reinsurance is underwritten through Hiscox London Market and Hiscox Re and ILS.

Our values define our business, with a focus on people, quality, courage and excellence in execution. We pride ourselves on being true to our word and our award-winning claims service is testament to that. For more information, visit www.hiscoxgroup.com

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