Article November 30, 2018

2018 Cyber Symposium: Cyber attacks inevitable

200 of the London market’s preeminent cyber insurance professionals gathered at our recent 2018 Cyber Symposium to listen as Jamie Bartlett, author of The Dark Net, Amber Rudd, former UK Home Secretary, and Dido Harding, former CEO of TalkTalk Group, discussed cyber security as it relates to their respective fields.

The resounding message from all three speakers was stark: cyber attacks are quickly becoming inevitable and government and business must work harder to prepare for and respond to them.

Jamie Bartlett kicked off the event by expounding on the ‘dark net,’ and how this marketplace, originally created by the US government more than 20 years ago, has democratised access to cybercrime tools. The battle by public officials and law enforcement agencies to take these sites down, he explained, is merely driving innovation amongst cybercriminals, with many planning on using AI in the next year.

Dido Harding gave a candid snapshot of what it was like to lead telecoms provider TalkTalk through one of the UK’s most high profile cyber attacks in 2015. She described the difficult conversations she had with GCHQ, law enforcement, her IT staff and board members in the first few hours while very little information about the extent of the problem was available. What guided her through, she explained, was remembering the obligation she had to her customers.

"The question isn’t whether we’re safe, because we’re never safe. It's about what risks we can accept to keep trading."


Harding concluded with a warning: The question isn’t whether we’re safe, because we’re never safe, she said. Rather, the questions to ask are, what risks are we taking? What risks can we mitigate? What risks can or do we want to insure and what risks can we accept to keep trading?

We’d like to thank our speakers as well as Mark Geoghegan, Editorial Director of Insurance Insider, who chaired the panel. We’ll be sharing a highlights video of the event over the next few days. In the meantime, we’re already planning how we can top this year’s fantastic event in 2019!