When researching cyber security, and reading about mass-scale cyber attacks in the press, it’s easy to have the mindset of “it won’t happen to my business”.
However, a recent study by the government found that almost half of UK businesses had been affected by cyber crime, with the average cost of an attack or data breach found to be inexcess of £75,000 (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-urges-business-to-take-action-as-cost-of-cyber-security-breaches-doubles). Can you afford to gamble with your business?
Most common types of attacks
In the majority of cases 'hackers' are not targeting spefic companies with their malware. They don't have a 'hit list'. They deploy their viruses out onto the internet and let them roam the internet looking for open doors into a company's network. Anyone could be a victim.
The most common type of cyber attack involves fraudulent emails, with the survey (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachmentdata/file/702074/Cyber_Security_Breaches_Survey_2018-_Main_Report.pdf)finding that that loss of files or data, software corruption, and theft of money, assets, or intellectual property were the most common result of such attacks.
It’s headline news. And it’s businesses of all sizes. With data-led startups often relying on and trading in data (everyone has heard the expression ‘data is the new oil’), data breaches and data loss are now frequently making headline news. The WannaCry malware, for example, recently brought the NHS system to its knees, making headline news as it affected computers across the world.
And while the NHS and government might be popular targets for cyber criminals, smaller businesses, who might have more lax security policies, are much softer targets. Among SMEs and entrepreneurial businesses, certain types of business are more susceptible to attack.
The public sector remains a primary target for such attacks, though companies within the information sector, particularly those of a smaller size, are almost among the most common sources of a data breach (https://enterprise.verizon.com/verizon-insights-lab/dbir/tool/#IndustriesSection).
Do I need cyber insurance?
Don’t allow your business to be the latest in 2019’s list of major data breaches. Get a quote for cyber insurance today. With policies starting from £37.63, you might be surprised at how much cover you receive.
If you’re still unsure, the key questions to ask yourself are:
- Does your business have a chief information security officer?
- What (if any) security software and policies does your business have in place, and how well are you equipped to cope in the event of a breach or attack?
- What customer data are you collecting? How is it stored? How is it processed? Is there any risk for data being lost, abused, exposed, or altered?
- Is physical access to data, computers, and even offices tightly controlled? Can users leave passwords lying around, or leave laptops on trains?
- What is your data backup policy? Does your business audit its data, its processes, and its staff on a regular basis?
- If you’re unsure, or can’t answer any of the above questions, could your business cope with a data breach or cyber attack?
It’s important to remember that cyber insurance is not a replacement for a properly thought out cyber security policy. By tackling all of the above in a positive manner, you can do a lot to protect your business...
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