Pandemic boom in cyber-crime | Wilson Organisation


April 12, 2021

Pandemic boom in cyber-crime

Pandemic boom in cyber-crime

We have seen an increase of over 30% in cyber-attacks during the height of the pandemic and UK businesses have lost over £6.2 million to cyber scams. Disturbingly, what we haven’t seen is an increase in businesses taking out Cyber Insurance. 

A unique study by analysing suggests criminals are exploiting official government announcements to target victims – as well as media coverage including cyber-crime campaigns. The study found that 86% involved phishing and/or smishing, 65% involved malware and 34% involved financial fraud. Hacking and denial of service were involved in five per cent of cases respectively.

The rise in cyber- crime is nothing new, no doubt if we hadn’t fallen victim to a global pandemic, cyber criminals would have found an alternative. Nonetheless, cyber-crime is most definitely a growing threat with over a quarter of UK companies listing cyber-attacks as a top risk faced by their business, particularly SMEs. It may be that the learnings from the highly publicised Business Interruption cases have played a part in businesses reviewing their risk profile, ensuring that in future they have all relevant covers in place.

Insurers have reacted and their products are evolving to ensure the cover on offer keeps pace with the change in attacks. This has included improved business interruption cover within cyber policies and expanded policy coverage to include financial losses from cyber-crime. What has always been on offer, and in our view one of the most important aspects of cyber insurance, is the specialist support available in the immediate aftermath of an attack. Very few SMEs will have employees or suppliers with the skills and experience to deal with a sophisticated cyber-attack and get the business back up and running. Some may be world leading in their niche sector, but wouldn’t even know where to start when faced with a cyber-attack.

As business starts to reopen they will undoubtedly be looking to reduce costs, rather than increase them. However, we are starting to see clients take out this cover as they acknowledge just how reliant they are on their IT systems and the potential costs of an attack.

We’re always happy to talk to clients old and new about their cyber risk and how they can protect themselves, just get in touch.


Over 100 years of innovation

  • 1914

    A successful launch! The Wilson Organisation was founded in Nottingham by Harold Wilson and became the first company in the East Midlands to offer a comprehensive insurance policy to the region’s fast-growing band of automobile drivers. Innovation from day one.

  • 1920s

    During the 1920’s, Wilsons developed its commercial insurance offering under the stewardship of Harold Wilson. Hopping forwards 80 years, Wilsons has developed a number of industry specialisms including a particular expertise in the food and drink sector. We created a unique insurance offering called “FoodProtect” and, through this service, have been able to deliver intelligence and cost-effective insurance programmes to a broad spread of leading food producers. The best thing since sliced bread? Maybe not, but we’re working on it.

  • 1949

    John Prow joined Harold Wilson in the business, marking the first generation of the Prow family’s involvement in The Wilson Organisation. Wilsons’ clients included leading Nottingham firm Boots The Chemist plus a number of operators in the burgeoning railway sector. With post-war regeneration beginning apace, the firm’s fledgling construction expertise quickly developed into one of our leading offerings and this continues through to the present day, with clients including national and regional builders, developers, contractors, sub-contractors and architects.

  • 1960s

    The 1960s were the start of a new era for The Wilson Organisation. Harold Wilson and John Prow died on the same day in 1963, Harold of illness and John in a car crash. This left John’s son, John J Prow, to run the growing business at the age of 27. Under his youthful direction, Wilsons benefited from a new energy and direction. John J Prow, who had joined in 1960 in a new business role, led the move into our current premises at Wilson House in 1964 and then launched the financial services division in the following year.

  • 1990s

    The late 1990s heralded the start of the third generation of the Prow family’s involvement in the business. Managing Director Charlotte Prow joined in 1998, to be followed by the firm’s Chief Executive, Annabel Prow, in 2002. Product and service innovation continued apace with the launch of a corporate finance specialism in 1997, which continues to deliver valuable cost-savings and insights to the region’s dealmakers.

  • 2000s

    Now century on from the launch of The Wilson Organisation in 1914, the company continues to encourage innovation and reward good ideas. Within the financial services team, 2008 marked the launch of “Flex”, a powerful employee benefit programme and the development of “WRAP”, an investment tool with a unique level of investor control and transparency. Meanwhile, our insurance advisers worked quickly to bring to market a specialist insurance policy for insolvency practitioners.

  • 2010s

    2010 saw the launch of the Midlands Family Business Awards by Wilsons, the UK’s only independent not-for-profit Awards for family businesses. Now in their fifth year, the Awards have raised almost £20,000 for charities supporting families and young people. In 2014 we are celebrating Wilsons’ centenary, a significant milestone in Wilsons’ history.

Registered Office:
Wilson House, 1/3 Waverley Street, Nottingham, NG7 4HG

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Harold Wilson (Insurances) Ltd. and Harold Wilson Financial Services Ltd. are authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)