Honeypot Billboards: Hiscox uses live cyber hacks in latest ad campaign

London, UK (19 February 2018) – In a media first, specialist insurer Hiscox is using real-time cyber attacks in the creative for its latest advertising campaign – CyberLive. This is part of a broader drive across the business to cement its position as a leader in the cyber risk marketplace and to raise awareness of the threat that cyber-crime poses to small businesses.

Three ‘honeypot’ servers (the type of servers typically used by a small business) were set-up specifically for the campaign and the data from them feeds into live digital posters at prominent stations and roadside sites across the country. Each time a cyber attack occurs, it triggers a pulsing red light on the poster, which gradually builds as further attacks occur and resets every 24 hours. The more attacks there are to the servers, the more the poster headline visually reacts.

Based on initial trials, the number of attempted attacks (and pulsing dots) each day is averaging 23,000 so over the course of the campaign the proxy servers are expected to be the target of circa 148,000 attempted attacks. The maximum number of attacks detected since 11th January when the servers went live, is 61,805 in one 24 hour period.

Hiscox is a leading provider of cyber insurance to businesses in the UK and is campaigning to shift perceptions that SMEs are unlikely targets for cyber criminals due to their size. Last year, the insurer appointed ex-GCHQ Director Robert Hannigan as a special advisor on cyber security and in December it announced the launch of its 70-strong cyber global ‘virtual business unit’. Just last week, Hiscox also released the findings from its most recent Cyber Readiness study.

Olivia Hendrick, Head of Marketing and Partnerships at Hiscox UK & Ireland commented:

“Hiscox CyberLive is about making small businesses more aware of the very real threat that cyber crime poses and challenging the belief that cyber criminals only target larger organisations. We were genuinely astounded by the number of attacks, especially up to 60,000 in one day, and hope this disruptive campaign serves as a reminder to all of the importance of cyber security.”

The CyberLive campaign also includes escalator panels at stations in London all aimed at dramatising the alarming frequency of cyber incidents in the UK. Last year alone, one in four (26%) small businesses fell victim to at least one cyber attack1.

Hiscox partnered with advertising agency AMV BBDO, media agency Goodstuff, and out-of-home specialists Talon and Grand Visual to create this campaign. It will run from 19th February across out-of-home sites, from Canary Wharf and Euston station to key roadside locations in Glasgow.


Notes to editors

1) Taken from the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2018


Client: Hiscox
Creative agency: AMV BBDO
Creative directors: Andre Hull & Clark Edwards
Copywriter: Augustine Cerf
Art director: Lauren Peters
Creative Planner: Tom White
Producer: Ian Whittle
Media agency: GoodStuff
Media planner: Charlie Pounds

For further information please contact:

Hiscox Ltd    
Katie Bergin +44 (0) 20 7448 6459 [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.

The Hiscox Group employs over 2,700 people in 14 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 & 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