Marsh commissions UK cyber security expert Iain Lobban

02 March 2016 4 min. read
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Iain Lobban has been commissioned by Marsh to take up the role of Senior Advisor on Cyber Risk to the firm’s global Cyber Centre of Excellence. In the new role, Lobban will leverage his more than 30 years of GCHQ experience to provide the firm’s clients with advice related to securing their realm from cyber security threats.

The risk of cybercrime has been on the increase in the last years, a recent report highlighting that 90% of large organisations and 74% of small organisations are affected. The average cost, for businesses that fall victim to cybercrime, has also been increasing year on year, with the costs to large organisations ranging from just under £1.5 million to £3.14 million, while for small organisations the range starts at £75,200 and goes up to around £310,800. A recent Marsh report, called the 'UK 2015 Cyber Risk Survey Report', found that while the risk of crime was on the radar, senior-level engagement was worrying – with barely 19% of corporate directors primarily responsible for cyber risks. Boosting senior-level engagement has been shown to improve company-wide cyber security outcomes.

cyber threats

Lobban joined the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in 1983, progressing through a range of roles which included becoming member of the GCHQ board in 2001. His role on the board involved moving the operations of GCHQ into its new location at Benhall, Gloucestershire. In 2004 he was promoted to Director General of Operations, before becoming the Director of GCHQ in 2008. During his time as Director he was involved in meetings of the UK National Security Council, as well as being a member of the Joint Intelligence Committee. Lobban worked extensively in the domain of securing and defending the realm from cyber threats, his role at GCHQ included developing the UK’s defence capability and operations for threats including terrorism as well as major crime.

Lobban graduated from the University of Leeds with a Bachelor of Arts in French, and has completed the Ministry of Defence's Higher Command and Staff course at Shrivenham. He was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 2006 and a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 2013, on the basis of his services to the national security of the UK.

In a bid to improve Marsh’s provision for clients in the realm of cyber security the firm has commissioned* Lobban as a Senior Adviser on Cyber Risk to the firm’s global Cyber Centre of Excellence. The newly created role at the firm will see Iain leverage his more than 30 years of experience in intelligence and security at GCHQ to provide the firm’s clients, including governments and regulators and private sector players, on how best to address the growing threat of cyber risk. Lobban will report to Mark Weil, CEO, Marsh UK & Ireland.

Sir lain Lobban - Marsh

Commenting on the recent appointment, Mark Weil says: “Cyber risk is one of the biggest risks that confronts our clients. It is a new threat, unbounded by geography and set to escalate as more goes online and as the barriers to entry for criminals comes down. Sir Iain comments that he is “very impressed” with how Marsh has been at the forefront of raising awareness and helping companies take ownership of their cyber risk.

When it comes to expertise on the matter, Weil claims that "Sir Iain is one of the world’s foremost experts on cyber security and we are delighted to have his talent available to Marsh as we work with our clients on how best to handle the threat of cyber attack.” Sir Ian responds in saying “I’m keen to help shape their strategic thinking and to push forward with the development of effective partnerships and frameworks to anticipate and respond to cyber threats.”

* Lobban is working as an independent consultant as part of the conditions related to his previous work at the top of the UK Government. In his roles at various private organisations, Lobban is not permitted to draw on privileged information available to him as a Crown servant; nor may he, for two years from his last day in Crown service, become personally involved in lobbying the UK Government on behalf of any of his clients or those he advises; further conditions involve needing permission from the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments before starting commissions at companies, which has been granted in relation to his advisory role at Marsh.