What would the cost of a cyber attack be to your business?

Cyber attacks are becoming regular headline news and shouldn’t be ignored. If your company holds data, the cost of a cyber attack could put you out of business!

High-profile cyber-attacks on companies such as Sony have raised awareness of the growing threat of cyber crime. Recent surveys conducted by Symantec and other cyber-security organisations suggest that many small business owners are still operating under a false sense of security.

Don’t Equate Small with Safe

Despite significant cyber security exposures, 85 per cent of small business owners believe their company is safe from hackers, viruses, malware and data breaches. This disconnect is largely due to the widespread, albeit mistaken, belief that small businesses are unlikely targets for cyber attacks. In reality, data thieves are simply looking for the path of least resistance. Symantec’s study found that 40 per cent of attacks are against organisations with fewer than 500 employees.

Attacks Could Destroy Your Business

Small businesses are becoming increasingly attractive targets—and the results are often devastating for small business owners.

The cost of an individual security breach can vary, depending on the type of data compromised and the amount of data taken. However, cyber attacks can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, and most small businesses don’t have that kind of money lying around. Businesses are required to keep personal and sensitive data safe in order to comply with the Data Protection Act, and violations of the Act can result in substantial sanctions from the Information Commissioner. However, many businesses continue to put off making necessary improvements to their cyber security protocols until it is too late because they fear the costs of security would be prohibitive.

10 Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks

Even if you don’t have the resources to ask an outside expert to test your systems and make recommendations, there are simple, economical steps you can take to reduce the risk of a costly cyber attack:

  1. Train employees in cyber security principles.
  2. Install, use and regularly update antivirus and antispyware software on every computer used.
  3. Use a firewall for your internet connection.
  4. Download and install software updates for your operating systems and applications as they become available.
  5. Make back-up copies of important business data and information.
  6. Control physical access to your computers and network components.
  7. If you have a Wi-Fi network for your workplace, make sure it is secure and hidden.
  8. Require password-protected individual user accounts for each employee.
  9. Limit employee access to data and information, and limit authority to install software.
  10. Regularly change passwords.

Protect your business

A data breach could cripple your business, costing you thousands or millions of pounds in lost sales, damages or sanctions. If you hold data, Cyber Liability cover should form part of your insurance programme.

To find out more, contact FOCUS.  We can arrange the cover you need to protect your company against losses from cyber attacks.

Paul Monaco, Commercial Insurance Manager