Cyber crime is not a new threat, but with every new headline comes a reminder that mitigating against it is something that nearly every business in the UK will need to do. Even if your organisation does not retail online, the chances are that some part of your business or administration is reliant on computer system and/or the Internet.
The keys reasons to respect, research and protect yourself and your business from cyber crime include:
- Cyber crime is one of the fastest growing forms of crime in the world. It operates across international borders and attracts organised criminal gangs.
- Cyber threats are at the cutting edge of technology. The nature of threats changes so rapidly that it’s almost impossible for individual companies to keep their defences ahead of the game.
- Businesses are increasingly dependent on IT for their everyday activities. It is not just information being stored online, companies are increasingly operating telephone and payment systems through computer-based technologies.
- Cyber attacks and failures can result in businesses closing or having to dramatically change what they do as well as mistrust and concerns from clients.
- Hold sensitive customer details such as names and addresses or banking information;
- Rely heavily on IT systems and websites to conduct your business;
- Process payment card information as a matter of course
Then you will be exposed to the risks of business interruption, income loss, damage management and repair, and possibly reputational damage if IT equipment or systems fail or are interrupted.
So what can you do to protect yourself and your customers?
While existing insurance policies such as commercial property, business interruption or professional indemnity insurance, may provide some elements of cover against cyber risks, businesses are increasingly buying specialised cyber insurance policies to supplement their existing insurance arrangements.
Cyber insurance covers the losses relating to damage to, or loss of information from, IT systems and networks. Policies generally include significant assistance with and management of the incident itself, which can be essential when faced with reputational damage or regulatory enforcement.
Generally cyber risks fall into first party (the policy holder) and third party risks (the policy holder’s clients). Insurance products exist to cover either or both of these types of risk.
Managing cyber risks
As well as putting adequate insurance in place, it is important for you to manage your own cyber risks as a business. This includes:
- Evaluating first and third party risks associated with the IT systems and networks in your business
- Assessing the potential events that could cause first or third party risks to materialise
- Analysing the controls that are currently in place and whether they need further improvement
Shearwater’s cyber insurance products spans industries and professions of all sizes and specialism. Whatever the scope of your online presence or usage, whichever bespoke terms you are looking for, the team at Shearwater promise to find you a policy shaped that is flexible, specialised and most importantly comprehensive.