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Cyber Jargon Buster

According to the National Crime Agency*, the threat of cybercrime is on the rise, with the scale and complexity costing businesses financially as well as causing untold damage to their reputation. The headlines refer to Ransomware, Hacking and Phishing attacks, but what do these really mean and how vulnerable are you?

Our simple jargon buster helps demystify the familiar and not so familiar phrases and helps you to understand how at risk you are.

Jargon Buster

Botnet – a botnet is a group of hijacked computers which have been infected by malware and is under the control of a cybercriminal. Botnets can be used to launch DDoS attacks against your business. Your computer network can also be hijacked to form part of a botnet.

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service Attack) – this is where your network is flooded with traffic via a botnet in an attempt to overload the system and prevent you from operating.

Hacking – often via viruses that are used to access a network. Once the virus has infected a file or piece of software, it can hack or damage the whole of the network.

Malware – this is a malicious software that is designed to damage, infiltrate or disable systems.

Phishing – email phishing accounts for approximately 80% of all cyber attacks and is highly successful for cyber attackers. This type of cyber-attack is when someone poses as a trusted source and usually tricks the user into downloading malware or giving away valuable data.

Ransomware – this is software that locks a user out of their system or encrypts their data. This is usually followed by a threat to make the data public or to delete it unless a payment is made.

Social Engineering – this relies on using confidence tricks to lure your employees into releasing confidential information, visiting malicious websites or downloading malware.

Spear-Phishing – this is where an individual employee may be targeted with emails that look like they have come from a trusted source and often include personal information. This is a serious threat to your business and can be more difficult to identify than large-scale phishing attacks.

Spyware – a programme installed maliciously to record what you are doing/saying without your consent.

Trojan Horse – this is malicious software posing as an authentic application and once opened it may take control of the computer and is designed to steal or damage data or inflict damage on your network.

Watering Hole Attack – also a malware attack, with the aim being to infect a website or group of websites that a user or group of users visit frequently. The cybercriminal usually identifies and profiles their target to understand the sites they visit regularly. They then look for vulnerabilities in those sites and inject malicious code into them. The primary aim is to infect the site and gain access to a company’s data and network once the target visits the infected site on their work device.  

It is unlikely any business can completely eliminate cyber-attacks but ensuring you and your employees understand the risks can reduce your vulnerability to them.

Cyber insurance for care organisations from Towergate

Towergate Insurance are partners with Care England, NCF, Homecare Association and a number of regional associations and are actively engaging with insurers and our clients to obtain cyber protection for businesses of all sizes, to protect against the very real and growing threats of the digital age. We can offer cyber insurance for care businesses to help protect you should the worst happen.

Get a cyber insurance quote online or email We can also advise on market updates.

Cyber protection cover for businesses from Towergate

We can also offer cyber liability insurance that is tailored to your business needs. As well as providing cover in the event of a security breach, we can also provide you with access to a team of experts who will work with you to minimise your loss and the possible damage to your business.

We also give you access to tools and resources to help you stay up-to-date with the evolving risks which will help you to understand your exposure and therefore establish a suitable response plan. For more information visit our cyber insurance page or call us on 0330 1235 740.

About the author

Carolyn Baker Mellor Care Insurance Articles AuthorCarolyn Baker-Mellor is a respected industry leader with over 35 years' experience within the care insurance sector. She works across a wide spectrum of insurance product and policy development, delivery and optimisation for care industry clients, including managing global corporate accounts, working closely with trade associations, and helping clients in protecting their businesses and personal assets.


This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.

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