Cyber-crime – prepare, prevent, protect.

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by Corporate Division

02 March 2017

As technology becomes increasingly important for businesses of all shapes and sizes, the need for robust insurance protection against the threat of cyber-crime also increases.

Cyber-crime is estimated to cost UK businesses £21m every year and research conducted by OnePoll suggests 60% of UK office workers receive a phishing email every day.  So, what can you do to protect your business?

Many businesses handle considerable amounts of employee and customer data, containing sensitive personal information, making them a potential target for cyber criminals. That’s why data security should be a fundamental consideration for any business, no matter how small.

Weak security systems could enable cyber hackers to compromise your business by stealing valuable data such as financial information (card and bank account details), or access your customer database and sell it to a competitor.

Take precautions

To defend your business adequately it is essential to adopt a culture of awareness of cyber risks. The OnePoll research suggests that the 60% of workers referred to above will fall for a phishing fraud unless trained to spot them. Some 27% of them had no idea what phishing was, while one in five admitted they had fallen victim by clicking on a link or attachment. It can be that simple to fall into the trap!

Tips for stronger cyber-security

  • Never disclose your banking codes, passwords or personal information
  • Report any suspicious emails or phone calls
  • Install anti-virus software on your computer and keep it updated
  • Ensure your company has adequate insurance protection from the consequences of cyber-crime

How insurance can help you

A specialist broker, with expertise in both general insurance and specific risks such as cyber will be able to help you identify and mitigate risks. They will give you the background you need to be able to assess your risks and advise on how to protect your business in the event of the worse happening. Other information about cyber-crime is also available at www.actionfraud.police.co.uk.

No two businesses are ever the same, and an insurance broker’s job is to ensure your business has the appropriate protection it needs, relevant to its operations.

Cyber insurance is designed to help mitigate the potential financial losses incurred in the event of an attack for loss of data, liability claims and reputational repair. The impact of cyber-crime is not just immediate, it can have a long lasting legacy – damaged reputations can lead to loss of confidence and eventual loss of business.

Example

An employee receives an email with a limited time promotion for premium goods, from a source they believe to be reputable, and have purchased from before. They click on the link in the email which loads malware onto their workstation infecting the network. The malware is designed to access and forward account details and client personal data before permanently deleting all information on the company’s servers. They are unable to transact business for a period of time until its systems are up and running again and have to report the incident to the information commissioner.

Cyber Liability

Your main commercial policy may provide some cover towards the costs of recovering data and lost income, however in many instances this cover is limited; this is particularly acute where a business relies on its systems for trading.

In this scenario, a Cyber Liability policy could provide specialist cover for the costs associated with recovering data and reinstating systems in addition to reimbursing the lost income. Importantly it could also cover subsequent fines and investigations from the data protection regulators.

Technology evolves at a rate of knots. It can help businesses immensely but it can also come with some associated risks. Don’t fall foul of these risks by being either under-prepared or under-protected.

To ensure that businesses are equipped to respond rapidly and effectively in the event of a data breach and are covered for any losses arising, we have developed a range of cyber liability products. For those firms requiring a more tailored approach, our cyber liability experts will use their knowledge of your industry and cyber exposures to develop bespoke solutions.

To find out more please contact Jason.Nethersole@howdengroup.com or Carley.Whitney@howdengroup.com.

About the author

Corporate Division

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