Most businesses rely heavily on computer software and systems, leaving them vulnerable to the growing threat of cyber attacks. Cyber risks range from the accessing of data by third parties, the blocking of access to business-critical systems, through to the accidental or unintended disclosure of information by an employee. Its impact can be catastrophic, ranging from the major disruption of normal operations to financial loss and reputational damage.
According to Check Point Research, there were 38% more global cyber attacks in 2022 compared to 2021. In the UK, however, that figure is 77%, thanks to increasingly agile hackers and a growing reliance on software that facilitates home working.
Statistics from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry show that more than 43% of SMEs suffered cyber attacks last year, and it is estimated that 1.3m small businesses would fail and collapse if hit by a successful attack.
Against this backdrop, the management of cyber risk is increasingly important.
Tips for managing cyber risk
There are a range of steps all businesses should take to manage the risk of a cyber attack, including:
- Encourage a cyber conscious culture where employees are aware of the potential for a cyber attack and understand what they should – or shouldn’t – be doing to prevent it, for example, not clicking on links in suspicious emails.
- Remind employees to be especially aware of phishing emails and text messages during busy periods.
- Develop and communicate a detailed incident response and business continuity procedure to mitigate the impact of any attack.
- Invest in robust IT protection / cyber security software and consider using a virtual private network (VPN) and firewalls for remote working.
- Back up critical data regularly so it can be quickly restored, if needed.
And, of course, ensure you have adequate insurance protection.
Cyber and Professional Indemnity (PI)
The primary intent of a PI policy is to protect against claims of damage caused by your business. In contrast, stand-alone cyber cover is intended to protect against first and third party losses arising from the use of – and dependence on – information technology.
Champion Professional Risks, part of the Champion Group, specialise in PI and other financial lines insurances, including cyber cover, across a range of professions.