Biba launches its 2019 manifesto at the Houses of Parliament tonight

The British Insurance Brokers Association (Biba) has pledged to increase awareness of cyber risks within SMEs.

Launching its Manifesto at the House of Commons this evening, Biba outlined how important it was for small companies to have cover, and the necessary protections from possible attacks that could cripple their systems.

Last week, it was reported that Cadbury-owner Mondelez was suing Zurich for $100m over a NotPetya claim. Zurich disputed the claim as is was made against a property policy, rather than a cyber one.

In its manifesto, Biba said: ”The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) characterises a heightened threat landscape including; sophisticated ransomware attacks from nation states, low-level frequent scams by cyber criminals and activists ‘naming and shaming’.

Insurers such as CFC Underwriting and HSB Engineering insurance have seen an increase in more sophisticated, targeted ransomware cases.

Graeme Newman told Insurance Times: “People are researching their victims, assessing their vulnerabilities under the network and dropping in ransomware with stronger encryption which is far harder to crack and therefore demanding far larger ransoms.”

Biba continued: “This environment points to business disruption arising both directly and from suppliers disabled by random attacks.”

Attitudes need changing

According to Pool Re, “61% of data breaches took place in companies with fewer than 100 employees”.

Despite this, only 35% of SMEs change their online passwords routinely1 and currently only 14% of SMEs have a cyber incident management process.

As a result, Biba says it is ”committed to raising awareness of cyber issues.”

It hopes to improve small businesses understanding that an emergency plan needs to be put in place and that readiness testing needs to be carried out regularly.

Last week, Hiscox staged a “real-world” cyber attack on bicycle company Brompton, using simple hacking techniques to highlight the risks it could have on any company.

Brokers can help

Finally, Biba said that with the help of brokers, cyber attacks can be seen as less threatening in the future.

It said: ”Cyber security must be a cost of doing business. It is a complex panorama. There is seemingly little commonality in cyber cover making it a difficult choice for businesses.

“Brokers can help SMEs mitigate against critical loss by advising on suitable cover.”