Hiscox appoints ex GCHQ Director Robert Hannigan as Special Advisor on cyber security

London, UK (20 September 2017) - Specialist insurer Hiscox UK and Ireland has appointed the former Director of GCHQ Robert Hannigan as Special Advisor on cyber security.

Hannigan, credited with developing the UK’s first Cyber Security Strategy and setting up the National Cyber Security Centre, will work closely with Hiscox and its specialist cyber division to provide market intelligence, staff training and inform the development of new and existing cyber products.

Mr Hannigan’s new role will include advising the UK business on emerging threats and cutting-edge criminal techniques that could impact customers both now and in the future, as well as helping to educate staff and customers about the importance of managing cyber risk.

Robert Hannigan, Special Advisor at Hiscox UK and Ireland said: “The risks that cyber criminals pose, both to businesses and individuals in the UK are significant and sophisticated. Cyber attacks are intrusive, costly and disruptive, which is why businesses and the public must be proactive in establishing a defence against them. In addition, the organisations that protect us – from insurers and software providers to UK regulators – must also evolve their understanding and defence against cyber crime, and the sharing of knowledge through partnerships like this is central to that. Hiscox leads the field in cyber insurance and I'm delighted to be working with such an expert and innovative team."

Steve Langan, Chief Executive, Hiscox Insurance, commented: “There are few experts better-placed to advise on cyber risk than Mr Hannigan and we are hugely excited to have him on-board. Our aim is not just to protect customers against the impact of cyber crime, but to play a constructive role in helping them better manage and understand the evolving risks they face. As a specialist insurer with a focus on cyber security, it’s vital that we stay ahead of the curve, and the deep expertise and experience Mr Hannigan brings to the business will play an key part in ensuring this.”

Hiscox began writing cyber insurance in the late 1990’s and currently provides Cyber and Data Risks cover to commercial clients as well as optional cyber cover on selected home insurance policies. With cyber being a key strategic priority for the business, Mr Hannigan will work alongside a growing team of internal specialists to further accelerate the development of its cyber proposition.

The insurer’s latest Cyber Readiness Report, highlights the impact of cyber crime on small businesses in the UK, with almost half (45%) of firms falling victim to a cyber-attack in the past 12 months. To help raise awareness of cyber crime amongst this audience, the insurer’s latest radio campaign employs the same techniques used by cyber criminals to create an advert, utilising voice–cloning technology to clone its brand voice and an artificial intelligence program to write a script.

About Robert Hannigan

Robert Hannigan was Director of GCHQ, the UK’s largest intelligence and security agency from 2014-17. He was a member of the UK’s National Security Council.

He is a leading authority on cyber security, cyber conflict and the application of technology in national security. Robert established the National Cyber Security Centre as part of GCHQ in 2016, having been responsible for the UK’s cyber strategy in 2009. He set the Government’s long term ambition of making the UK ‘the safest place to live and do business online’ and was also responsible for leading, with military colleagues, the national offensive cyber programme. He has written regularly on cyber security, encryption and extremism in the Financial Times and elsewhere.

Robert is credited with bringing greater openness to the work of GCHQ, not least in an effort to promote cyber skills across the UK; he led the greatest internal transformation of the organisation since the Cold War to make it fit for the digital era. Robert caused international controversy on his first day in office in 2014 by criticising Silicon Valley companies in the Financial Times, but he has also spoken at MIT in defence of strong encryption and US technology leadership.


For further information please contact:

Hiscox Ltd    
Katie Bergin +44 (0) 20 7448 6459 [email protected]

Notes to editors

1. Figures taken from the 2017 Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2017.

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, Asia 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.

All press releases