Cyber crime has the potential to cripple a business. Within the last year, data breaches have caused reputational damage to a multitude of businesses including British Airways, Morrisons and the NHS.
Additionally, the legal sector has faced record financial losses through cyber crime and attempts to steal data through data breaches are at an all time high.
Despite this overwhelming threat, the majority of businesses are failing to ensure they are using bespoke cyber insurance that could ensure they are able to cover any losses within their business and to their customers.
A recent report by MoneySupermarket has looked at the impact of cyber crime on all UK businesses.
It found that 53% of businesses assumed that their business insurance covered all threats, including cyber crime. However, most policies offer this as an added extra.
The report also found that a cyber attempt is made in the UK every two and a half minutes.
9% of businesses that had experienced an attempted breach in the past, reported further attempts several times a day. Whilst 40% face a breach at least once a month.
43% of businesses experienced a cyber-security breach within the last year and this statistic rises to 72% of larger businesses that are heavily reliant on information and communication.
Worryingly for the legal sector, businesses that hold customers’ personal and sensitive data are 47% more likely to have cyber criminals attempt to hack their business.
Those that were attacked noted that the most common attempt was through email and phishing scams where 72% of firms were breached in this way. 33% were vulnerable to malware, 27% fell foul of impersonation fraud and 17% weakened by ransomware attacks.
Following the attacks, 22% of businesses suffered a loss of files or networks, 15% had their software and systems corrupted, 10% experienced disruption to their website and online services, whilst 6% found a significant financial loss to their business.
The sad truth is that 60% of businesses that are victims of cyber crime will close within 6 months and four small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will fall victim to cyber criminals every two years.
MoneySuperMarket’s business insurance partner, said: “Cyber insurance products for small businesses generally tend to reimburse the policyholder for the costs of retrieving or repairing data, software and hardware following a cyber-attack, compensation in the event that customers’ data privacy is breached and support in areas such as forensic investigation, as well as legal and compliance-related advice such as fulfilling regulatory responsibilities and repairing reputational damage.
“There is evidence that cybercrime itself is increasing. We may therefore see an increase in the demand for cyber cover in the near future.
“Businesses should ensure that the costs of the interruption of their business activities caused by cybercrime are covered, and that their policy includes practical support in the aftermath of this event. At a minimum, a business should ensure they have strong anti-virus protection that’s regularly updated, and that they are regularly updating their data to help prevent and protect against cybercrime”.
Whilst many firms are investing in technology and expertise to help combat cyber crime, firms and businesses need to be aware of what they can do in order to fully protect themselves from the devastation and reputational damage cyber criminality can inflict.
Have you been affected by cyber crime? What is your firm doing to ensure it is protected from cyber threats?