Former spy chief takes up top role on cyber security at insurer Hiscox

Lucy White
Hannigan served as a director of GCHQ from 2014 to 2017 (Source: Getty)

Specialist insurer Hiscox, a Lloyd's of London underwriter, has appointed a former GCHQ director as its special advisor on cyber security.

Robert Hannigan was credited with developing the UK's first cyber security strategy, and with setting up the National Cyber Security Centre as part of the intelligence and security agency GCHQ in 2016. He also led the national offensive cyber programme, with military colleagues.

Read more: In full: GCHQ director Robert Hannigan's resignation letter and foreign secretary Boris Johnson's response

He served as a director of the agency from 2014 to 2017, and was a member of the UK's National Security council. At Hiscox, he will work with the cyber division to help develop new cyber products and provide market intelligence and staff training.

Hannigan will also advise UK businesses on emerging threats and criminal techniques, while educating staff and customers about how to manage cyber risk.

Read more: More than half of businesses in the UK, US and Germany aren't fully prepared to deal with a cyber attack

“There are few experts better-placed to advise on cyber risk than Mr Hannigan and we are hugely excited to have him on-board,” said Steve Langan, chief executive of Hiscox Insurance.

“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.”

Hiscox has been writing cyber insurance since the late 1980s, and offers cyber and data risks cover to commercial clients as well as cyber cover on some home insurance policies.

Read more: Hiscox is moving its EU base to Luxembourg as a result of the country's "pro-business position"

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