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Businesses advised to be Cyber Aware

cyber attack

Leading insurance specialists Alan & Thomas are advising local businesses to be more savvy when it comes to cyber security.

"As businesses become more reliant on technology, the risks of suffering a loss either related to computer problems or holding sensitive customer data continue to grow. These can be a major blow to any business and can lead to a loss of revenue, damage to reputation, legal and regulatory costs not to mention the associated interruption to everyday business operations" warns Stewart King, Chief Operations Officer at Alan & Thomas.

And it's not just large UK businesses that are at risk.  Any business that holds customer data, has a website, is reliant on computer systems to conduct business or takes electronic forms of payment, is at risk of a cyber attack.

With 60% of small companies in the UK having reported a cyber security breach in the last year, a new government report has just been published announcing a set of joint initiatives between Government and the insurance sector.

"The joint report aims to help firms get to grips with cyber risk and establish cyber liability cover as part of a firm's commercial insurance programme" explains Stewart.

Cyber threats are estimated to cost the UK economy billions of pounds each year with the cost of cyber attacks nearly doubling between 2013 -2014. The new report found that while larger firms have taken some action to make themselves more cyber-secure, they face an escalating threat as they become more reliant on online distribution channels and as attackers grow more sophisticated.

"We are recommending businesses – large and small - to stop viewing cyber matters largely as an IT issue and focus on it as a key commercial risk affecting all parts of their operations.  Companies need to examine the different forms of cyber attacks they could face, stress-test themselves against them and put in place business-wide recovery plans".

"Cyber liability insurance cover will provide businesses with protection against financial loss resulting from any form of cyber attack such as the loss of personal or customer data and hacking of a company's website or network.  If a business is found to have not taken effective security measures to ensure data is safe and secure, they could be faced with regulatory investigations and claims as a result of data protection and privacy law breaches. The cover would provide financial compensation for any associated legal fees and court costs".

As an independent broker, Alan & Thomas have access to a wide range of cyber liability insurance products from the UK's leading insurers and can advise businesses on cyber risk management procedures they need to consider and have in place to protect themselves.

Download the Small Business Cyber Guide