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Cyber Update

Cyber security is a very real threat for SMEs, which account for 5.5 million businesses in the UK – and only a tiny percentage have cyber insurance in place, despite them being one of the most attractive targets for cyber criminals. Worryingly, the percentage of SMEs stating cyber security is a high priority has decreased from 80% in 2022 to 68% in 2023.

Many SME’s will look at their business and see the tangible risks such as fire, flood or theft, and may have made claims for these incidents in the past. Thankfully, most have never experienced a cyber attack and are unaware of the devastating impact this can have on a small business.

We have supported clients the sharp end of a cyber claim so we understand the impact this has on a business and the true value of cyber insurance – not only to compensate financially, but the incredible level of incident response they receive to deal with the attack, restore systems and mitigate against future threat.

The Government’s ‘Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2023’ revealed there were approximately 2.39 million instances of cybercrime across all UK businesses in the last 12 months – but only attacks on a few of the UK’s largest businesses such as British Airways or the BBC will make the headlines.

The survey also highlighted that ransomware is still at the forefront of the cyber threat landscape for UK businesses today. But there’s a continuing move away from cyber gangs just encrypting data to stealing data and threatening its publication instead – a trend which started back in 2019. Rather than the historic ‘smash and grab’, cyber criminals are spending far more time in networks, looking to steal information that will make victims feel obligated to pay the ransom to avoid disclosure.

Attacks are also becoming worryingly personal – unsurprising if they have accessed personal data, files and photographs. Victims are receiving harassing phone calls on personal numbers as the criminals move to using real-world intimidation rather than just cyber extortion to encourage business owners to pay. Saying they won’t release your CNC data is one thing, threatening family members is a whole different ball game.

Many of our clients are comfortable that they have sufficient cyber security in place. But cyber insurance isn’t simply there to replace investment in cyber security, in fact it’s quite the opposite. The specialist cyber insurers we work with will help you ensure you have the right security in place and keep you updated on emerging cyber threats – after all, they don’t want you to suffer a breach either! We all need to work together to ensure all businesses, whether big or small, are protected from cyber criminals.

It probably helps to think of cyber insurance as an emergency service. You probably wouldn’t say you don’t need breakdown cover as you have a really great car, you still want the comfort that should something happen, expert help to get you back up and running is just a phone call away.

If you don’t currently have a cyber policy in place and would like to understand the risks to your business and the cover available to you, just get in touch with me at [email protected], call on 0115 942 0111 or connect on LinkedIn