Rising cyber threats could be putting your clients at risk

Date: 1st July 2021

What’s the challenge?

Rising numbers of homeworkers and a focus on digitisation during the Covid-19 pandemic have left companies increasingly vulnerable to cybercrime.  The Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 shows that four in ten businesses have fallen victim to cyber-attacks in the past 12 months, costing an average of £8,460.  As more companies embrace hybrid working in the long-term and cyber threats become increasingly sophisticated, it’s essential companies take steps to protect themselves.

Five things to know about rising cyber threats

  • UK businesses are attacked online once every 2.5 minutes.
  • Direct security and user monitoring and upgrading hardware, software and systems have all become more challenging while working from home and this, coupled with increased demands on IT teams, has contributed to companies becoming increasingly vulnerable.
  • Direct costs aren’t the only impact of a cyber-attack, they can also lead to reputational issues, rising insurance costs, operational disruption and long-lasting damage to customer relationships.
  • Just three in ten businesses (31%) have a business continuity plan that covers cyber security.
  • The head of the National Cyber Security Centre has warned that ransomware attacks – where a form of malware encrypts a victim’s files and the attacker then demands a ransom to restore access – are the key security threat for UK businesses.

What help can you get to boost your cyber resilience?

  • Cyber Essentials – A Government-backed Cyber Essentials programme, which defines the technical requirements to reduce exposure to the most common cyber threats by up to 80%. Businesses can obtain an official certification of compliance to demonstrate their commitment to better cyber security practices. 
  • Cyber Cover – Available as a stand-alone product or an optional add-on to some Commercial Combined products, Cyber Cover can help give you peace of mind in the face of ever-evolving cyber threats. As well as cover for investigation costs and loss prevention measures, you could benefit from access to IT forensic experts, data recovery assistance, legal advice and crisis management expertise.

Cyber resilience quick wins

  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Harden your perimeter with Firewalls, Web Application Firewalls and Intrusion Prevention Systems
  • Test back-up and restore procedures regularly
  • Don’t allow privileged users (e.g. Domain Admin) to access the internet
  • Don’t re-use credentials across multiple sites – use a Password Manager