This is a guest article written by Stewart Ruffles. The author’s views are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Risk Crew. Enjoy!
Technology is a must for many businesses — but it comes at a risk. The extent to which businesses rely on technology varies. Some may manage a modestly sized website, implementing minor updates periodically to give their appearance a boost. Whereas other businesses may digitally store vast amounts of sensitive information about their customers. In either case, it’s vital to be mindful of the vulnerabilities inherent in using technology. Consider that in 2019 alone, that more than half of British firms reported a cyber-attack according to a recent survey by Hiscox.
It’s a shocking statistic — largely due to the growing number of ways a cyber-criminal can target a business. Even accepting cookies, an apparently innocent action, can present potential security risks (despite GDPR increasing the visibility around the data you’re sharing). The looming danger is compounded by more complex threats, such as ‘domain hijacking’ or ‘denial of service attack’, to name a few. Clearly, the complex process of protecting your business becomes a constant task.
Unsure what to do? The first rule; Don’t panic. You can get protected with cyber liability insurance. Cyber liability insurance is specifically designed to protect your business against the risks that come with using modern technology; risks that other types of business insurance won’t cover. But what exactly is cyber liability insurance and why should my business get it? To give you a better understanding, here are six reasons cyber insurance is essential for a business.
1. SMEs are a major target for cyber criminals
Media coverage might make you think it’s only major corporations that experience data breaches. But the truth is, SMEs also present a very lucrative opportunity for hackers, as they often fail to have robust cyber security in place — making them easier targets. Verizon reported in 2019 that 43% of breaches involved small business victims
2. Data isn’t all you can lose
If your business experiences a breach it likely won’t be just data you’ll lose — but your reputation and hard-earned cash, too. This is because breach notification laws generally require businesses that lose sensitive data to provide written notification to any individuals affected. Cyber insurance can help pay for a PR firm to restore lost trust and help to mitigate the loss of future sales from customers switching to competitors.
3. Danger is widespread
Unfortunately, it may come as no surprise that cyber crime levels rose across England and Wales this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown. A KnowToBe survey conducted early this year revealed that COVID-19 related phishing email attacks increased by 600% in the first quarter of the year.
It is therefore of paramount importance to have a good cyber policy in place that will cover your business against everything from leaving a laptop on a train, to hacks while you’re connected to a public WiFi spot, to phishing attacks via email, and much more.
4. Staff can be a cyber security weak point
Social media and email can represent a significant weak spot in your security, especially if staff are not properly trained to deal with fraudulent messages. Phishing scams (where a cyber criminal will purport to be someone else in order to extract information) are constantly evolving and becoming more difficult to detect.
Employees can undergo security awareness training to help them spot fraudulent messages and react appropriately – but even the best-trained member of staff can still make a mistake, and accidentally supply sensitive information to a bad actor.
5. Cyber security insurance provides better cover for your valuable data
Just as cyber attacks are different from traditional, physical forms of theft and deception, so too is cyber insurance different from insurance policies that protect physical items. Ensuring that the value of the data within your physical devices is fully assessed and protected is critical, and this is what cyber insurance can provide.
6. Downtime will be covered
Computer downtime is often a significant and expensive component of cyber-attacks. A robust cyber insurance policy can help to ensure the business will be financially able to deal with the financial ramifications.
Risk Crew’s partner, CLEAR Insurance, have a dedicated, specialised team ready to help you arrange cyber insurance for your business. You can find out more here.