The rapid evolution of cybercrime

We live in a world of increasing cyber threats and exposures, and yet we still see many clients facing this risk without having cover in place: protection in the form of cyber, data and crime insurance.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) reports that cybercrime continues to rise in scale and complexity, and it costs the UK billions of pounds, causes untold damage, and threatens national security.

Cyber threats are not unique to high-net-worth individuals, but they are at a greater risk to these threats because their personal lives offer a greater potential reward for cybercriminals. HNWs tend to embrace technology, from computer-enhanced toys to a vast array of smart home devices, most of which are Wi-Fi enabled, presenting opportunities for prospective cyber thieves. From sensitive data and investments to connected devices, cyber threats can impact on many aspects.

A high-profile case that made the headlines a few years ago was when David Beckham was targeted through his agency, which was hacked by a group seeking a £1 million ransom in a ‘cyber’ blackmail attempt. It was reported that nearly 18.6 million messages and documents had been stolen. Beckham and his team refused to pay the ransom and that resulted in the leak of numerous private email messages between Beckham and his agency. High levels of wealth, multiple assets and public profiles all contribute to the vulnerability of these targets, with personal staff and security teams providing several points of potential access for unscrupulous hackers. While this is an extreme case of a high-profile global celebrity being targeted, over the past few years the problem has become part of our digital existence with phones, laptops and tablets providing an open window into our daily lives.

Typical cyber-related scenarios that HNWs and UHNWs might face include the hacking of electronic devices, ransomware attacks, identity theft and identity fraud, distributed denial of service attacks, and doxing, which is the release of personal information about victims and their family members.

As COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation of society, the role of cyber, data and crime insurance in an overall insurance portfolio has never been more important. Cybercriminals are always striving to hit new levels of sophistication and setting up ever more complex schemes and scams, taking into account new opportunities to exploit businesses and individuals in new and different ways.

At Islands, we believe it’s really about helping our clients to take a step back so that they can understand their potential cyber exposures and thinking about how we can help to mitigate them. Your data is as important as your prized possessions and so we have developed a bespoke cybersecurity policy that protects you year-round, wherever you are in the world.

To find out more, you can speak to our experts at Islands who will be happy to help.

Jim Purkiss Cert CII
Group Sales, Marketing & Private Clients Director
01534 634400