Insurer Hiscox recruits ex-chief of GCHQ

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Specialist insurer Hiscox has recruited the former boss of GCHQ as it looks to keep pace with the world’s biggest cyber security threats.

The FTSE 250 firm said Robert Hannigan, ex-director of Britain’s biggest intelligence agency, would join as a special adviser on cyber security.

The move will see him work with the insurer’s cyber security division, offering market intelligence, staff training and help with developing cyber products.

Mr Hannigan 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.”

Mr Hannigan helped draw up the UK’s cyber security strategy in 2009 and was director of GCHQ for three years before stepping down for personal reasons in January.

He also helped establish the National Cyber Security Centre last year.

In his new role, he will brief firms on the threats and techniques of cyber criminals to help them protect staff and customers.

Hiscox chief executive Steve Langan said: “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.”

Hiscox began offering cyber insurance more than two decades ago.

It provides cyber and data risk cover to businesses and some cyber cover on home insurance policies.