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Cyber crime is a growing phenomenon. Today more than ever we should ask what can I and my business do to mitigate the threat.

Cyber crime: how to protect your business.


October 2023


Cyber Insurance: Protecting Your Business from Cyber Threats 


Do you use a computer to run your business? What would happen if your laptop was hacked or stolen? Could your cash flow cope? Could you afford an IT consultant to help fix things in a hurry?   

Hackers attack your computer every 39 seconds and 31% of UK businesses are attacked at least once a week with data breaches or cyber-attacks costing UK businesses on average £4,200 [1]&[2] 

The number of threats to your business is on the rise, and with the UK offering rich picking for cyber-criminals, it is a case of when and not if you will become a victim.   

Government research has found that just under four in ten businesses (37%) of businesses have taken out specific cybersecurity insurance policies [3].  

As businesses increasingly depend on technology, the potential risks associated with computer system issues and the security of customer data continue to escalate.  

Your business might store sensitive personal information about clients, such as names, addresses, and banking details. This data could be housed on physical servers or in the cloud, and your operations might heavily rely on a website. Any harm to these systems or unauthorised access could result in damaging your reputation and incurring legal or regulatory expenses.  

To safeguard against these potential risks, cyber insurance is one of a range of protective measures you can take. In this article, we look at the measure you can take to prevent a cyber-attack, as well as the incident response and how cyber insurance can form part of your overall cyber risk management plan.  

We will cover the following areas. 

• Preventing cyber-attacks: best practices for businesses 

• What to do if you are attached: immediate response steps 

• How Cyber Insurance Can Help You If You're Attacked 

• Investing in Cyber Insurance and Risk Management 


Preventing Cyber Attacks: Best Practices for Businesses  

Importance of Cybersecurity Measures - I cannot emphasise enough the critical importance of implementing robust cybersecurity measures to protect your business. Cyber threats have become more sophisticated and prevalent, posing significant risks to your company's sensitive data, financial assets, and reputation. A successful cyber-attack can lead to devastating consequences, including financial losses, legal liabilities, and erosion of customer trust.   

By investing in strong cybersecurity defences, you can safeguard your business against potential breaches, unauthorised access, and data theft. Implementing comprehensive security protocols, regular system updates, and employee training can significantly reduce the likelihood of cyber incidents and ensure the continuity and resilience of your operations. With the ever-evolving cyber landscape, taking proactive steps to protect your business is not just a wise investment but a crucial necessity in today's interconnected world. Your business's future and reputation depend on how seriously you approach cybersecurity, and we are here to help you navigate this complex. 

Employee Education and Training – Employee error is still one of the largest risks to your cyber security, with phishing emails using more and more sophisticated methods to defraud your business or steal your data. To reduce this risk educating and training employees about cybersecurity best practices, such as recognising phishing emails and using strong passwords is paramount.   

Equipping your staff with the skills to identify suspicious emails, links, and attachments can thwart these attempts before any harm is done. Additionally, enforcing the use of strong, unique passwords for every account enhances the overall security posture of your organization, as weak or reused passwords are a gateway for cyber-attackers. By investing in employee education, you create a culture of cybersecurity awareness, where every team member becomes an active participant in safeguarding your business's digital assets. Remember, a well-trained and cyber-aware workforce is a powerful asset that complements your technical defences, ensuring your company stays resilient against ever-evolving cyber threats.  

Regular Software Updates and Patching - Keeping software and systems up to date through regular updates and patching is of paramount importance in minimising vulnerabilities and maintaining robust cybersecurity. Software developers continuously identify and address security flaws and bugs in their products. These vulnerabilities can be exploited by malicious actors to gain unauthorised access to your systems, steal sensitive data, or disrupt your operations. By regularly updating software and applying patches, you ensure that the latest security fixes are implemented, effectively closing potential entry points for cyber-attacks.  

Hackers are quick to exploit known vulnerabilities, and delaying updates leaves your systems susceptible to attacks that could have been easily prevented. Neglecting updates could lead to severe consequences, including data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage.  

Network Monitoring and Intrusion Detection - Monitoring network traffic and using intrusion detection systems (IDS) can help detect and mitigate potential cyber threats effectively. Network monitoring and intrusion detection systems can form part of the comprehensive cybersecurity strategy of any business. They provide an early warning system, enable proactive incident response, and offer valuable insights into network activities.  

Incident Response Plan - Having a well-defined incident response plan is of utmost importance in effectively handling and mitigating cyber-attacks. It is not a matter of "if" a cyber-attack will occur, but "when." In today's digital landscape, where cyber threats are constant and sophisticated, your business needs to be prepared to respond swiftly and efficiently to minimise the damage and restore normal operations.   

A well-defined incident response plan is an essential component of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. It allows businesses to respond quickly, maintain compliance, and continuously improve their security. In today's threat landscape, having an incident response plan is not just good practice but a fundamental necessity to safeguard your business's data, reputation, and overall stability in the face of cyber-attacks.  

Where can my business get help with cybersecurity? 

The government-endorsed Cyber Essentials scheme enables organisations to be independently certified for having met a good-practice standard in cyber security. Specifically, it requires them to enact basic technical controls across five areas. There is also the 10 Steps to Cyber Security guidance on how businesses can protect themselves online.  

What to Do If You Are Attacked: Immediate Response Steps  

If you suffer a cyber-attack, it can be emotional and stressful, and knowing what to do at the moment can feel even more overwhelming, especially when cyber-security is probably not your specialism, considering these areas as part of an overall risk management plan can help you in the event of a cyber incident.  

Isolate and Assess the Breach - Isolating affected systems and conducting a comprehensive assessment of a breach are essential steps in the incident response process. These actions not only help contain the attack and limit its impact but also provide valuable insights for remediation and future prevention.  

Notify Relevant Parties - Promptly notifying internal stakeholders, national crime agency*, regulatory bodies, and affected third parties. Timely communication with affected third parties demonstrates transparency and helps mitigate any potential damages, maintaining trust and compliance with data breach notification obligations. *There is advice on the website setting out who to notify of a cyber breach.   

Reduce the Risk of Further Damage - To reduce the risk of further damage after a cyber incident, immediate action is required. This includes disabling compromised accounts and revoking unauthorised access to prevent further actions. Changing passwords on affected systems helps lock out attackers, while promptly patching vulnerabilities close entry points exploited during the breach.  

Preserve Evidence - Preserving evidence related to the attack is vital for conducting thorough investigations into the incident's origin, methods, and impact. This evidence is essential for identifying the attackers, understanding the attack vectors, and implementing necessary security improvements to prevent future breaches. Additionally, preserving evidence supports insurance claims, providing substantiation of the damages incurred and ensuring a smoother claims process with insurance providers.  

How Cyber Insurance Can Help You If You're Attacked  

Cyber insurance should form part of your cyber resilience program, it won’t necessarily prevent a cyberattack, but it can help stop it from getting worse, once detected. Here we explore some of the areas where cyber insurance can help your business recover from a cyberattack.   

Coverage for Financial Losses - Cyber insurance can provide coverage for financial losses resulting from cyber-attacks, including business interruption costs, data recovery expenses, and legal liabilities.   

Incident Response and Forensic Services - Cyber insurance policies often include access to professional incident response and forensic services to help businesses navigate the aftermath of an attack.   

Public Relations and Reputation Management - Cyber insurance coverage that assists with public relations and reputation management efforts in the wake of a cyber-attack.  

Legal and Regulatory Support - Cyber insurance can provide support for legal and regulatory compliance, including potential fines and penalties.   

Risk Management Assessment and Guidance - Cyber insurance providers often offer risk management assessments and guidance to help businesses enhance their overall cybersecurity position.  

Investing in Cyber Insurance and Risk Management 

A person in the UK is more likely to be a victim of fraud or cybercrime than any other offence [Home Office, 2021) with fraud and computer misuse accounting for half of all crimes recorded the scale of the threat cannot be underestimated and you need to know how you can protect your business from the risks it faces.   

There is not only the cost to consider but also the time you need to set aside to understand what your potential exposure is but also how to make sure that the insurance you buy will do what you need it to do in the case of a breach in security either by a hacker or a genuine mistake by you or a member of staff who inadvertently e-mail data to the wrong person. 

What Next?  

It is perfectly natural to worry about whether you are making the right decision about buying a product and that’s why we are on hand to talk you through the process, assess your risk and help you build the right risk management strategies for your business. Get in touch with us today to find out more or to arrange a meeting.   






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