The recent opening of the National Cyber Security Centre at GCHQ underlined the fact that we are increasingly under threat from cyber criminals. At a national level stories of cyber security breaches are never far from the headlines and they don’t get much more serious than Kremlin hackers interfering in the US presidential election. At an individual and business level the UK government estimates that £27billion was lost to cyber-crime last year, with businesses bearing the brunt losing an estimated £21billion.
The UK is one of the most digitally advanced economies in the world, which also makes us one of the most vulnerable to cyber threats. As we become increasingly connected to the internet we become increasingly exposed and it’s time to start taking cyber security much more seriously. Luckily there’s plenty you can do to shore-up your cyber defences:
Carefully consider your tech: As consumers and business owners it’s essential to understand that anything that is connected to the internet is susceptible to hacking. At home that could be your heating system or baby monitor; in the office that could be your entire security system.
Be picky about passwords: Speaking at the launch of the National Cyber Security Centre the Director Ciaran Martin made some interesting comments about password security. Government advice has traditionally been to change all passwords once a month using a configuration of upper and lower case letters and symbols. However, Mr Martin pointed out that was the equivalent of asking every British citizen to remember a new 600-digit number every month; which is clearly unfeasible. Instead Mr Martin urged computer users to concentrate on providing better protection for important accounts and use a secure password manager for the rest.
Make sure that you’re covered: Recent events have shown that even the most robust security systems can be hacked by a determined cybercriminal. Cyber risk insurance won’t stop the worst from happening, but it will safeguard your business against the financial fallout.
Admittedly cyber risks can be complicated with threats including: fiscal fraud, extortion, ransomware, customer data loss, IP theft, industrial espionage and money laundering; which is why you need someone who speaks your language. Quoteline Direct is an independent broker with nearly half a century’s experience and we’ve got access to some innovative and competitive cyber risk insurance packages. To find out more, or for a competitive quote, visit our Cyber Risk & Liability Insurance page or Tel: 0161 874 7979 to speak with a consultant.