Cyber-Attacks: a ‘when’, not an ‘if’

12 May 2022

It’s hard to believe that just a little while ago, cyber, for the insurance market was considered a ‘soft market’, however over the past few years, especially since March 2020 when the world dramatically shifted many processes online, the number of cyber incidents across the world has increased exponentially.

Managing cyber security is big business and a constant threat that is only ever increasing. Here are our tips on how you can help minimise the risk of cybercrime and better protect themselves.
The scale of cyber security threats
A shocking statistic is that the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), took down 2.3 million cyber-enabled commodity campaigns, and offered support to 777 significant incidents over the past 12 months; many of which were related to the Covid-19 response and vaccine programme.
Aside from pandemic-related security threats, they have removed 50,500 scams, and more than 90,100 malicious URLs.
These figures clearly demonstrate what a huge issue cyber security is, and how seriously it should be taken. Cyber-attacks have real-life consequences, with loss of personal data, time, and money, as well as disruption to key services such as healthcare and other public services.
What can be done?
The first step is simply being aware that the threats are ever-present and ever increasing. We live in an age where even some of our fridges or washing machines are connected to the web. The more we rely on technology and the internet, the more our risk of a cyber-attack increases.
As technology develops, so does the sophistication of a cyber-attack, making it harder to differentiate from a legitimate request or communication, and a malicious one. Did you know in 2021, 40% of businesses experienced a cyber-attack in the last 12 months?* 
Making your cyber-security a priority now will save you from so much potential stress, expense, and reputational damage in the future.
Taking the time to audit your cyber-related processes, and staff training to spot potential attempts to infiltrate will be worth its weight in gold… and then some. 
How might a breach affect you?
A cyber security breach could result in a number of different issues, including but not limited to: damaged hardware from a computer virus, many lost hours spent handling the breach, a criminal investigation, and damages claims from third-parties who might have been affected by the event; all of which can really hurt your reputation. 
Just recently, the greetings card website, Funky Pigeon was the victim of a cyber-attack. Because of that, they had to stop taking orders immediately, involve law enforcement, and found themselves the subject of many media reports which has no-doubt pushed many customers to their competitors, due to fears for their data security.
If a big business like this can be affected in such a way, it makes you wonder how a smaller business with a tighter budget and fewer resources might cope. 
Ensure you have cover in place
Cyber insurance is one of the most important weapons in your arsenal to combat the risk of an attack. Not only will it protect you if you are a victim, but it may also deter cyber-criminals from targeting your business due to the practices you put in place as part of your insurance plan. 
Having cover in place means you’re protected, in the event of a cyber-security breach, in many ways. Not only for the costs involved with investigations, your legal fees, contacting the affected parties, support with PR costs should there be any coverage in the media, and making sure you get back on your feet as soon as possible with suitable IT systems; it may also cover any ransoms if your policy specifies this. Although it’s worth noting that paying a ransom is always an absolute last result, as it might mean you’re seen as an ‘easy target’ resulting in further attacks.  
Cyber security is not an easy subject to understand, and the best practices to cover yourself are ever-changing; however, with the right attention, professional advice, and commitment to protecting yourself with adequate cover, you can significantly mitigate the risk. 
We really hope that this article has helped you understand further what the risks are to a business in terms of cyber security, and why having cover in place is so beneficial. Whether you’re a broker looking to protect your business, or you have clients in mind who are particularly exposed, every business can benefit from the right kind of cyber cover. 
*Cyber security breaches survey 2021 –