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CYBER CRIME – Protecting Your Business

6th July 2017
Stephen Ward Associate Sales Director for H&H Insurance Brokers

Recent news stories of computers being hacked and companies being held to ransom, as well as being offline, have all added to the existing concerns about on line fraud and cloning via the internet. With computers and technology integral to all businesses, it’s a growing concern for all sectors including farming.

When looking at their risks, farmers and land owners are well informed in terms of rural crime. They know that ensuring their machinery, equipment, and livestock  are insured against criminals is of paramount importance to their livelihood. As traditional insurance policies, including farm business policies, do not cover theft of money or goods by digital means (e.g. ransomware, internet hacking, fraud phone calls) many may not be aware that they need to consider their cyber security, which helps to manage their own risk, protects their reputation and the reputation of others.

We have all seen the media coverage about recent cyber-attacks on huge organisations such as TalkTalk, the NHS and on our own Government.  Serious though this is, hackers are much more likely to target small to medium sized business, which have less rigorous IT security, and are extremely vulnerable, offering easier targets with rich pickings.

“We live in a modern world with an ever-changing risk landscape. One area which all farmers, landowners and rural businesses need to consider and review is their Cyber Security.” says Stephen Ward, Associate Sales Director.

Stephen is keen to encourage businesses to move with the times and protect themselves against the threats associated with technological and electronic devices.  Clearly the first line of defence is computer software in the form of virus protection so problems are kept out in the first place but, as recent events have shown, that is not always possible and when issues arise they can be expensive to resolve and cause considerable downtime in the business.

“As so many transactions are now being managed and completed electronically online, all devices, mobiles, tablets and computers should be protected, and  should be insured against such risks as viruses, fraud, identity theft and of course, money laundering. Without an implemented Cyber insurance policy, you would not be covered for the financial loss you have incurred.”

Only a third of all UK businesses have formal written cyber security policies and only ten percent have an incident management plan in place, according to Office of National Statistics research. Bank and credit account fraud are the most common types of fraud experienced online. Although many businesses are protected, research demonstrates in the last twelve months 75% of SME’s have experienced a Cyber Attack. Most seriously it reveals that 25% of SME businesses won’t survive following a data security breach.  £75,000 is the average cost of an SME data security breach.

In addition to taking all possible measures towards safeguarding themselves against cybercrime, businesses also need to work with their insurance brokers to ensure that they are properly covered against its effects.

Cyber Security covers a number of areas, all of which should be reviewed and protection established. These include:

Cyber Crime, or Financial loss as a result of fraudulent input or change of data in your computer system which results in money being debited from your accounts or credit being established.

Cyber Liability, by protecting your business against your service provider failing to secure data, or you unintentionally transmitting a virus. This also includes the content of your website, emails, or anything else distributed by your computer system damaging the reputation of others.

Business Interruption which covers loss of income following a cyber event or prevention of access to your systems.

Hardware issues such as loss, damage, theft, cyber events and breakdown to your hardware, including portable devices such as mobiles and tablets

Data Corruption leading to the Restoration of your computer systems and data to the position that they were in prior to an incident, and to meet the extra cost to prevent or reduce the computer system’s disruptions as a result of a cyber event, damage to hardware or prevention of access.

Stephen is also keen to highlight that: “Cyber incidents across UK businesses, including farming and rural enterprises, are continually on the rise and that this increasing risk is here to stay. Businesses need to both continually manage and monitor these risks with their IT providers and advisors, and should consistently ensure that they have taken the necessary measures to protect themselves – should the worst happen.”

As part of our reviews with all clients, we include a review of client’s computer requirements and make sure they have the right policy in place should they suffer financial loss, it’s all part of our role as a Broker, supporting our clients”

To discuss in more detail why not contact Stephen either via email direct or call 01228 406290.

H&H Insurance Brokers were established in 1987, and today with offices across the north of England, Wales and Scotland, and a dedicated livestock division ‘In–Livestock’, it employs over 30 members of staff and is part of the H&H Group with offices in Durham, St Boswells and Carlisle.  As a company it retains traditional service values established back in 1987, whilst being at the forefront of the industry in terms of the cover it provides to suit the needs of 21st century clients.