Cyber Insurance 26 July 2016

Cyber crime is in the news again as one of the fastest growing crime ‘sectors’ in the country and whilst the latest reports are focusing on “personal” cyber attacks, commercial cyber crime is also on the rise.

It is something we have looked at and spoken about a lot over recent months but still, quite often business owners ignore it as they feel it is only a concern for the ‘big boys’ and the “hackers aren’t interested in us”.

However the reality is that businesses of all sizes are exposed and we are seeing more and more small, local business being specifically targeted. Often it’s because they have the impression that they are too small to be bothered with and as such they aren’t as vigilant as some of the bigger companies.

One local example recently concerned a small IT firm.

Criminals hacked into the directors email account and then simply emailed their accountant, and asked her to “transfer £20,000 to the following account details…”, which she did, as her director had asked her to…

It wasn’t until much later that they realised what had happened and unfortunately as they didn’t have the relevant insurance cover, the money was gone for good. Thankfully the strength of the company meant that they were able to continue trading but for some businesses that kind of cash loss could easily have been terminal.

In a similar story a large client had a substantial loss where a customer of theirs had their email hacked and a fraudulent third party placed a large £200k order to be delivered to a specific location – which the client duly did and the third party took away.

It was only later when they chased the customer for payment only to be told they hadn’t ordered anything,

Now thankfully in this instance there is cover in place and we are working on the case to bring a positive result.

It’s not just theft of cash that is causing serious problems. We have seen recent cases of theft of data and even “hijacking” business systems, (where a hacker effectively locks a business out of their own system and demand money to re-instate their access).

The message here is clear. Cyber attacks on ordinary businesses are becoming more common and by their nature they are difficult to stop or pre-empt. However by being proactive with your insurance you can at least ensure if it does happen you have the best possible cover in place to limit any losses.

 If you haven’t thought about it then we would recommend you do so soon and we are here to help.   We can take you through the risks and what can be done to protect your business. Just call Leonie or Robin on 01509 274000 and we’ll talk you through it.