What is Cyber Security?

Protecting businesses against cyber threats

With businesses now relying more on technology, the risks of cyber attacks are rising. The Covid-19 outbreak has resulted in many businesses being at risk, as they increase the size of their IT footprint. Even small businesses are now using more online software, websites and data as they adapt to the new trading conditions imposed by lockdown and social distancing restrictions.

The impact on your business could be catastrophic if a cyber criminal is able to access your online bank account or your customer information. It’s therefore important to consider cyber insurance and what you can do to help protect your business.

What is a cyber attack?

SMEs tend to store confidential information such as customer lists, personal and sensitive information and financial details – assets that are highly sought after by cyber criminals. Hacking and data breaches can cause damage to business reputation, customer trust and profits.
The extent of the risk depends on the number and type of records you hold along with the network security and backup measures you have in place.

The most common types of cyber incidents include:

  • Privacy breaches – this occurs when someone accesses information without permission. The extent of the risk depends on the number and type of records you hold as well as network security and back up systems that you have in place.
  • Denial of service – arising when an attack targets a network and prevents its intended users accessing it. This can be caused by bombarding the network with lots of traffic or information that then causes a crash.
  • Cyber fraud – committed as a result of social engineering crimes. These include attacks such as phishing which gives hackers access to sensitive data, information and accounts or scareware that scares victims into installing malware to clean up their system which they claim has been infected.
  • Cyber extortion – where third parties threaten to damage or release stolen data if money is not paid to them.

Why does my business need cyber security?

Any business that relies on computer systems and the internet is potentially subject to attack by cyber criminals. Whether your whole business is based “in the cloud” or your dependence on the digital world is limited, you will still be exposed to cyber crime and risks such as business interruption, income loss, damage limitation management, repair of IT equipment and systems failures and possibly reputational damage.

Cyber security for small businesses

One of the main issues is that small businesses underestimate the cyber threat and don’t believe that they are at risk. They often do not see cyber as priority and lack the resources or knowledge to defend themselves against cyber attacks.

Steps to cyber security

Technology is always evolving and now even more than ever, online is now a big part of life. Businesses are expected to handle their information responsibly so there are some key actions that you can put in place to improve your cyber security:

  • Develop a risk assessment process to identify all digital assets, potential cyber threats (both internal and external and their impact if they were damaged or stolen. Then rank the likelihood of occurrence.
  • Create a cyber security focused culture so that everyone is aware of the potential risks.
  • Train all your staff on systems and procedures to mitigate risks.
  • Emphasise speed – an immediate response is required. The longer it takes to address the threat, the more damage can be done.
  • Finally a cyber insurance policy can help businesses againstthe threat of attacks.

What is cyber insurance?

Cyber insurance is also known as cyber liability insurance or data protection insurance. It helps keep businesses protected against cyber crime and covers losses relating to damage to or loss of information from IT systems and networks.

Cyber liability insurance from Towergate

To give you peace of mind, we can offer cyber 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 liability insurance page or call us on 0330 1235 740.