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London could be world cyber risk leader, says ex-Lloyd’s chief

Collaboration across the cyber insurance, technology and security organisations in London could make the capital a leading world centre on these topics, says former Lloyd’s of London boss

“Connecting technological, cyber security and insurance expertise in London would create an unrivalled package,” says Inga Beale, former CEO of Lloyd’s of London.

And it is only through collaboration and consultation that Lloyd’s was able to begin the cultural transformation needed to switch from paper-based processes after more than 300 years, starting in 2013, Beale told attendees of InfoSecurity Europe 2019 in London.

Although Lloyd’s of London’s digital transformation process is still under way, with a target of 80% of processes to be digitised by the end of 2019, Beale said consultation and collaboration around designing new systems was key.

“I believe in technology, but along with technology comes its own set of risks,” she said. “There is a lot of nervousness around cyber threats throughout most businesses, particularly at the board level, where there is now a lot of discussion on the topic.”

But although most boards are now taking cyber security seriously, engagement with cyber security professionals internally and externally is not quite as effective as it might be, said Beale.

“There need to be more open and honest conversations between board members and cyber security professionals about what boards do not understand and what security experts think are the most important threats to address,” she said.

“Cyber threats are among the biggest risks to the business, yet they are the risks that boards typically know the least about. Boards and cyber security experts need to work together in a non-threatening way, in the same way the insurance sector has worked together to gather the data necessary to understand the risk scenarios and get the pricing right.”

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Lloyd’s of London was one of the first insurers to offer cyber security, said Beale, and it continues to work with others in the sector and contribute to research about cyber crime and the potential impact of cyber threats on key information technology services.

“Cyber insurance can be a wonderful way of mitigating cyber risk because insurers will work with client organisations to mitigate threat before and after cyber events,” she said, again highlighting the importance of collaboration and sharing across the insurance sector.

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