Cyber Security; How Serious Is It?
This is a big question and one which is not necessarily that easy to answer. Cyber Security is as important as cash flow for some businesses. Without a strong and secure network in place a lot of business cannot operate. Without cyber security you are putting at risk more than just data, you are risking potential capital, client’s capital, business secrets, employee data, along with your reputation as a responsible and trustworthy business.
The US president has just this week declared a national emergency for potential IT threats. This is due to a threat on the infrastructure of a country. But ultimately scaled down criminals will be looking at businesses as targets. Looking at who they can extort, who will prove the easiest target to make money quickly. Cyber security is becoming a huge thing in the US and specialists are charging hundreds of thousands to help big companies protect their network and data. Whereas in the UK this is a growing area and businesses will use consultants to identify areas of weakness and improve them before anything happens.
With the enforcement of GDPR in Europe emphasis has now been placed on businesses to responsibly store and manage data of individuals. Data that is collected must be stored securely; businesses must be able to produce the data that they hold on an individual and must also delete that data upon request from that individual. Failure to comply with GDPR results in huge penalties up to 20m of 4% of revenue which ever is greater.
So, for businesses cyber security is serious, very serious in fact. Even small businesses have to comply with GDPR and as a result have to ensure that their security is up to standard. For an individual you can rest easier in the knowledge that any business that holds your data has a duty of care to look after your data and failure to do so will cost them as much if not more than you. It is also possible that any costs associated with data loss for an individual may be able to be recovered for the business.
Not only is data important to protect for an individual but also a business.
It’s not just data-
Criminals won’t just attack a businesses data. They will be looking at what avenues they can use to make money from the business. Whether it be stealing data to sell. Or more likely install a ransomware program in your network which will deny access until a fee is paid. Often the fee is demanded in bitcoin or other virtual currencies so as not to trace where the money has gone, making it more difficult for criminals to be found. They will look at ways they can take money off the business directly as it is much easier than trying to steal data.
What should businesses do?
We would recommend that businesses undertake a review of their cyber security. Look at what physical security you have in place. I.e. Who has access to the building? Can they get on computers? Do they have access to the Wi-Fi network? Then consider what hardware you have. How many computers are there? How is the network linked? Then look at how well the software is protected. Are the computers password protected? How often are the passwords changed? Does the Wi-Fi have a password? Are the files encrypted?
Ultimately you can complete a small review of your business yourself and it should be relatively easy to identify area’s that could be improved. But you can also speak to a specialist who will complete a full in depth review an explain ways in which you should look to improve your cyber security.
Then look at insurance speak to your broker and see what they would recommend. Conclusively, regardless of cyber security you should look at what happens if it doesn’t work? You will need to be able to rely on having access to the top cyber specialist to help you get back on your feet. You will need to be able to access cash in order to rectify the situation and notify the relevant authorities, as well as cover the costs of any law suits that arise from such a scenario. Read more on cyber insurance here.
We can help you. We offer comprehensive cyber insurance for all businesses. Just contact us.