CYBER crime is now the fastest growing crime in the world and is causing untold misery to businesses of all size - and, yes, that includes your business!
Sunil Shah, Managing Director of Gidea Parkbased C&M Insurance, is witnessing more and more cases of businesses being victims of cyber-crime – a crime which is so easy to commit. It can be done from the bedroom using just a laptop and internet connection. “The hacker can be anywhere in the world which makes it extremely hard to catch the criminal. A conventional business insurance policy and the banks will not protect you against cyber-crime. There are so many aspects: ransonware, phishing emails, data breach but a good insurance broker can guide you through the risks relevant to your business. The threat is very real and is here! All businesses have a serious responsibility when it comes to client data that they hold, especially electronically.
“Many SMEs don’t feel it will affect them and can be trading in denial. The statistics are alarming. According to research by the Federation of Small Businesses, during 2014/15, SMEs fell victim to seven million cyber-crimes, costing them £5.26 million. In 2016, 66% of SMEs surveyed had fallen victim to cyber-crime,” said Sunil, who launched C&M Insurance in 1996 after working in the City for an investment bank.
Here are the top 10 cyber threats considered to be the biggest risk by businesses themselves:
- Malicious links within emails
- Employees sharing usernames/passwords
- USB memory sticks/removable storage
- Users not following protocol/data protection policies
- Ex-employees retaining access to network
- Infection via malware from personal devices
- Employees using non-authorised tools/applications for work purposes (personal email drives/file sharing)
- Social media viruses
- Critical information on stolen devices.
Sunil said: “GDPR has made it more important than ever for businesses to protect digital data and third-party liabilities. From phishing emails and malicious hacks to simply leaving a laptop on the train, there are many ways your business could lose control of digital data. This can put customer details, bank accounts and sensitive information at risk. Cyber liability cover can help your business back onto its feet after a security breach.
“We offer cyber policies which can protect against online and digital risks with cover which can include:
- breach costs including customer notifcation and third-party losses
- business interruption
- damage to equipment
- legal costs and regulatory fines
- public relations assistance.
“Businesses – of all size – must start taking cyber-crime and its consequences seriously. They need to make their systems and procedures as secure as possible but, equally importantly, they need to accept that they’ll never be totally invulnerable to cyber-crime so should have suitable insurance cover in place.”
Sunil’s views are echoed by David Gibb, Essex Police Cyber Protect Officer, who said: “While we all know cyber-crime exists, businesses are still not taking adequate precautions to protect themselves. Why? Well, 27% feel they are too small to be targets. The truth though is that anyone with internet access is a target. 93% of businesses have an online presence with all holding personal identifiable data such as client lists, personnel details, invoices, emails, passwords, finances etc all of which is valuable to the cyber-criminal.
“You must treat cyber security seriously. This is a real and persistent threat. So in the same way you protect your personal property and belongings in your physical world such as your home or business premises, so must you apply the same approach to your online world. Cyber security should form part of your business continuity and disaster recovery plans.” Business insurance can be complex, but, said Sunil, C&M believes in making the process as simple as possible. “We don’t stick to rigid price plans or packages, instead working with leading providers to build you a fully bespoke insurance solution that is designed to give you the right cover at the right time.
“In order to do this, our experienced advisers ask all the pertinent questions to get the full picture. Our company directors will also carry out site visits where appropriate. We will identify any areas of concern in your current cover or operations and offer honest advice and suggestions.”
For more information, please visit www.cm-insurance.co.uk