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Technology – a Blessing or a Curse?

Being online opens the doors to greater risks

From the way we shop, to the way we bank, to the way we work, our everyday life is anchored by technology. This has created new exposures and a greater risk of cybercrime. 2021 was the worst year on record for cyber security, according to a recent ITRC report; with 1,862 compromises being reported, and nearly 3 billion victims affected1.

In British Insurance Brokers Association’s (BIBA) 2022 Manifesto, they highlighted cyber as ‘one of the most significant and financially disruptive threats to UK businesses!’. Businesses are being targeted because they’re vulnerable, rather than valuable. Furthermore, small businesses are susceptible to attack2, as they lack the cyber security systems of larger companies.

The February 2023 report by Vodafone Business3 shows that more than half (54%) of SMEs in the UK had experienced some form of cyber-attack in 2022, up from 39% in 2020.

Here are our top tips to help you mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime

  • Undertake a data back-up daily and consider cloud storage.
  • Install anti Malware software, maintain firewalls and regular patching.
  • Keep your smartphones and tablets safe with passwords.
  • Use strong passwords to protect your data (at least 8 characters with a number and a capital letter).
  • Consider password managers for MFA (Multi-factor authentication).
  • Do not share passwords or write them down and change them regularly.
  • Avoiding phishing attacks with staff training and money transfer controls.
  • Have a cyber security plan in place that includes computer security monitoring programmes.

Your employees are an invaluable line of defense, your ‘human firewall’, so keep them up to date with what phishing and active threats look like, as threats evolve and adapt to manipulate current issues.

Up to 80% of cyber-attacks can be prevented by undertaking Cyber Essentials – the Government-backed cyber security certification scheme that sets out a good baseline of cyber security suitable for all organisations in all sectors. Using cyber essentials may help reduce the risk of succumbing to an attack: https://www.cyberaware.gov.uk/cyberessentials/.

Why insurance cover is important

The four main covers under Cyber Liability insurance Network Security, Extortion, PCI Liability and External Crime.

Insurance is designed to cover the costs that arise from a wide range of accidental or malicious incidents to computer networks and equipment, data and software. It can also support you in paying for post breach analysis and mitigation improvements.

Having the appropriate cover can help with costs to reinstate data and computer equipment, and the cost to locate and remove the virus.

Cyber insurance covers the cost of support such as; –

  • Forensic investigation – finding out what happened, what data was breached, who obtained the data and whether it was viewed.
  • IT assistance – to contain the loss and fix or repair the problem created by he breach, repair the website or network, restore deleted or infected data, remove the virus and analyse the loss of income.
  • Data subject notification – covering the cost to notify impacted individuals following a breach, such as by letter or email and create a new website to display information relating to the breach.
  • Legal costs – to oversee the breach response, plus legal advice and regulatory guidance.
  • Data protection – cover for any fines and penalties and compensation claims brought against a business due to a breach of the Data Protection Regulations.
  • PR & crisis management – your brand could be at risk if a breach is not managed appropriately. Consultants can mitigate negative media attention.
  • Call management – if you need a call centre to handle customer calls relating to the breach, this can be arranged on behalf of your business. Cyber insurance providers often provide a 24/7 incident response line in order to support policyholders.

Speak with your local community broking team to discuss the most suitable policy for you.

  1. https://www.idtheftcenter.org/publication/q3-2022-data-breach-analysis/
  2. https://www.securitymagazine.com/blogs/14-security-blog/post/97694-why-small-businesses-are-vulnerable-to-cyberattacks#:~:text=Small%20businesses%20are%20attractive%20targets,lost%20productivity%20to%20company%20reputation
  3. https://www.vodafone.co.uk/newscentre/press-release/half-of-smes-experience-surge-in-cyber-attacks-vodafone-research-reveals/#:~:text=More%20than%20half%20(54%25),business%20up%20to%20%C2%A34%2C200.
  4. https://www.cyberaware.gov.uk/cyberessentials/

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