Cyber cover – a growth opportunity for brokers in the heritage sector

18 February 2019

New research by specialist insurer Ecclesiastical has found 1 in 10 heritage organisations have experienced a cyber attack. (1)

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Despite this, less than a third have cyber insurance in place, presenting a growth opportunity for proactive brokers.

    Cyber threats in the heritage sector

    Cyber threats are becoming increasingly complex and heritage organisations risk being targeted by criminals. Organisations face huge reputational risks if they fail to protect themselves against cyber attacks. For example, art galleries have been targeted by criminals through an email hacking scam, resulting in the hackers being able to steal significant sums of money2. The scammers monitored outgoing messages from art gallery email accounts, then intercepted invoices and changed them.
    The research found the majority of heritage organisations appear to be aware of the impact a cyber attack would have on their organisation, naming loss of data (68%), cost of putting things right (63%) and loss of website (61%) as having the most impact following an attack. 

    Are your heritage customers prepared for a cyber attack?

    Over a quarter of heritage organisations don’t feel fully prepared to deal with a cyber attack. Reasons given include that they do not have enough in-house knowledge (57%), they don’t know where to go for advice and guidance (21%), and they lack cyber insurance (21%). 
    A large proportion of heritage organisations are failing to get the basics right. Almost two-thirds (64%) do not have a cyber-security plan in place, 70% do not have cyber security training and 71% do not have cyber insurance in place. 
    1 in 5 said their organisations do not back up their data. While 80% of organisations do back up their data, of those only 57% are doing so on a daily basis.  
    Many heritage organisations are taking steps to protect themselves against cyber-attacks. For example, The National Theatre is using cyber-security companies to keep its scripts, set designs and the personal information of its performers safe from hackers.
    Faith Kitchen, heritage director at Ecclesiastical said: “It’s shocking to learn that 10% of heritage organisations have experienced a cyber attack. As a leading insurer of heritage buildings in the UK we’re passionate about protecting Britain’s heritage.
    While many heritage organisations are taking steps to protect themselves, it’s so important for brokers to speak to their clients about cyber preparedness and cyber insurance. Cyber threats are evolving at a rapid pace which is why organisations need to back up data, put cyber security plans and training in place, and protect themselves against future threats by having cyber insurance in place.” 
    1Research commissioned by Ecclesiastical, carried out by FWD, an independent, BIBA approved research agency. 152 telephone interviews during October and November 2018 with 152 people in the UK who operate from heritage properties and are responsible for organising insurance.
    2Galleries hit by cyber crime wave, The Art Newspaper