We have all heard about cyber-attacks on government bodies and corporate institutions that have resulted in large fines, bad publicity or calls for resignations. Many businesses think that they are of no interest to these criminals because they do not have the same size of revenue. This could not be further from the truth. The facts are that in 2019 55% of businesses reported they had suffered a cyber-attack, up from 40% in 2018. The general modus operandi of criminal hackers is the more businesses they attack, the more likely they will receive their intended financial reward; SME’s are a perfect target due to the often poor security in place on their IT systems.
All business must be aware of this ever growing threat and be prepared in the event of an attack. Some key points to consider to reduce the threat of an attack are:
- good quality security software is installed and kept up to date
- a robust IT operations policy
- installing software updates and patches promptly
- employee awareness of methods of attack
- strong passwords that are regularly updated
- encrypt data
We recommend that companies have a cyber insurance policy to meet the cost of an attack and from consequential costs resulting from a data breach. These can include ransom demands or costs of being sued by individuals whose data has been compromised.
It is worth noting that the Information Commissioners Office, which is the independent body responsible for upholding information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals, has the ability to impose fines on companies in the event of a data breach. These fines can be up to €20,000,000 Euros or 4% of worldwide revenue whichever is the greater or for lesser misdemeanours €10,000,000 Euros or 2% of Worldwide revenue. These sort of penalties demonstrate the seriousness of this matter as one that should not be ignored.
Phone Keith Penning on 020 8353 8956 to discuss how a cyber insurance policy can help your business.
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