The government has backed the UK insurance industry’s efforts to provide cyber cover to businesses, according to Business Reporter.

The government aims to establish a working group that can help UK firms manage risks.

Francis Maude, Minister for Cabinet Office, said: “Protecting the cyber security of UK businesses is an important part of this government’s long-term economic plan – we want the UK to be one of the most secure places in the world to do business.

“Cyber insurance does not replace the need for good cyber security practice but is an added protection for businesses in the event of breaches.”

The group will thrash out how to best use cyber insurance for business, especially SMEs. It will also model the impact of a nationwide cyber attack.

Marsh UK chief executive Mark Weil said: “As recent network attacks and data breaches have demonstrated, cyber security events can quickly accumulate significant costs, inflict reputational damage, and undermine investor confidence. A massive data breach will invite litigation, generate regulatory fines, and instigate law enforcement investigations.

“Cyber-attacks can even cause physical damage by manipulating control processes. Companies should be assessing their vulnerability to cyber-attack and taking advantage of risk management and insurance solutions to mitigate the potential for these events to harm their business.”

The working groups will report emerging conclusions to the Cabinet Office by April 2015.