Securing your digital self – a handy guide to Cyber Insurance

With many clients now expanding their digital presence, it’s important to be aware of the dangers out in the cyber frontier. A simple enough email, designed to look innocuous, can cause lasting damage to computers and your digital footprint. Oliver Burns, cyber expert at County, shares his views on the cyber insurance marketplace.

2020 has seen many get a little square eyed. More time spent behind mobiles, phone, tablets, PCs and using them for social, work and personal entertainment has a cost. While I could talk about the societal, environmental and financial cost, it’s actually the reputational I want to focus on.

In the first half of 2019 alone over 4 billion data records were exposed on the web. This can include names, addresses, usernames, passwords; the list goes on. With so many of us first signing up to Zoom, Skype, Teams and many more in March and April 2020 we are having to give away our data, and the consent to use it, more and more.

Businesses have a responsibly to look after client data under GDPR regulations which, post Brexit, become the Data Protection Act. Whether your deli now offers a click and collect, or your wholesale business can start taking direct client orders online, each of these entry points to your business needs to be adequately protected from cyber criminals.

Typically Cyber policies can help protect businesses and individuals in your teams from two types of claims – First Party, or those affecting your business, and Third Party, or those affecting others.

First Party claims can be for loss of data or systems and the cost to diagnose, repair and rebuild systems. First party claims can also be for loss of money if there has been a spurious invoice paid for on the back of fake details. It can also help rebuild systems following a malicious hacker breaking into your email network by posing as a friendly figure. This is commonly known as Phishing, Vishing and even Whaling depending on the target.

Third Party claims can be for alleged negligence claims brought by third parties, or the loss of third party data that then costs the business money. Remember the TalkTalk scandal of 2014? An internal job conducted by a group of employees in an Indian call centre cost the company multi millions in lost revenue, multi action claims against them and system rebuilds. While the company has since recovered, this served as a wakeup call for many businesses to ensure they had adequate liability cover for data breaches.

Commonly I hear that “it won’t happen to my business, I’m too small” or “I don’t carry people’s data”. Well, pull out your work phone – the phonebook or directory, as well as your home and work emails you can access therein is classified as data and, if it were to leak and cause your clients to receive phishing emails or attacks, you could be held liable. With so many small business across the UK now using their handheld devices to transact it’s becoming more important to protect these from the threats of tomorrow.

With premiums typically starting from £350 a year for basic cover, we’re recommending this cover to all our business and farm clients, no matter their size. To find out more or to request a quote, contact your Commercial Executive today.