Businesses could face financial implications if they do not prepare 

Global business and commercial insurance broker – SJL Insurance has warned of the increased risks of cyber-attacks that sole traders and businesses face whilst working from home during the pandemic.

This is due to computers and laptops that are not encrypted leaving company networks open to hacking and cyber-crime.

According to Simon Lancaster, chief executive at SJL Insurance, added that the survey showed that 22% of UK businesses have had a cyber-attack that has cost their business financially.

Therefore, Lancaster predicts that the amount may now have increased during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown with millions of extra people currently working from home.

Financial implications

“Businesses will face financial implications if they do not prepare. Monetary and time-based Investments in cyber risk management, such as awareness training for staff, regular penetration testing and Managed Detection and Response (MDR), can ensure the business is protected and has the ability to respond appropriately should an attack occur. Cyber insurance starts from as little as £75 a year with A-rated UK insurers,” he added.

SJL’s Cyber Insurance survey carried out by YouGov in July 2019, looked at 1051 senior decision makers from businesses in Britain, ranging from sole traders to large corporations participated.

It found that 67% of senior decision makers who knew their businesses history of cyber insurance, said their business had never had cyber insurance.

Meanwhile 39% of businesses who were victims of cyber-crime had cyber insurance at the time of the most recent attack.

Over half (53%) did not have cover at the time of the attack, and 8% did not know or could not remember.

Lancaster warned of the following:

  • Data not being encrypted or workers using their personal unencrypted laptops.
  • Criminals duping people to pay a fake invoice that appears like it really is from someone relevant to the business, by intercepting emails
  • Hackers intercepting remote servers
  • Not updating your password can increase hacking risk
  • Not locking your screen can cause problem, a child might inadvertently click on something that causes a problem
  • Not taking that extra moment to double check the emails source before clicking on an attachment – at home it is easy to get into a more relaxed and less cautious frame of mind.
  • Internet hackers are aware of our vulnerability at this unprecedented time and cyber-attacks are on the increase
  • Use of third-party video conferencing sites which may be susceptible to compromise

Lancaster added: “Most businesses up and down the nation are already feeling a huge negative economic impact from the Coronavirus pandemic. Since an additional business expense or loss of data could mean the difference between a business folding or surviving, it’s so important to help businesses by ensuring that they have protection for cyber incidents which are on the rise. The UK economy needs businesses to continue trading wherever possible and a simple decision by a business to take steps to protect themselves could help achieve that’

SJL is based in Worcester and is a Lloyd’s of London broker.

Read more…How GDPR changed the world and the way it handled data 

Not subscribed? Become a subscriber and access our premium content