By Gordon Cameron, Commercial Account Executive
There has been an unprecedented focus on cyber-crime and digital security following several high profile incidents. TalkTalk, Tesco and Yahoo have all suffered financial and reputational damage when customer information was accessed by an unwanted third party.
The “largest ransomware outbreak in history” which took place recently, disrupted 150 countries with 200,000 victims. The National Cyber Security Centre has provided the following update on how companies can protect their computers as the working week begins:
- Keep your organisations security software patches up to date. Often important security updates are contained within downloads and can stop known viruses from spreading.
- Use proper anti-virus software services.
- Back up the data that matters to you, because you can’t be held to ransom for data you hold somewhere else.
- Users should be vigilant when opening emails and not click any links or download any attachments from emails that are not familiar or from suspicious sources. If you do get a message on screen that claims to have encrypted data, immediately disconnect that PC from your network as this type of attack moves around your network starting on one PC.
The recent ransomware attack, called Wana Decrypt0r 2.0, locks users out of their devices and data, encrypting all data and demanding ransom for the decryption key with no real alternative other than wiping and starting again, hoping the files are adequately backed up.
While the spread of this attack appears to have been halted, this is just one of many ransomwares out there and it is highly likely that further copycat variants will emerge.
Despite the large scale national investment of up to £1.9billion to be allocated to the National Cyber Crime Centre, most of the responsibility remains with companies and individuals to organise their own process and security.
An audit or assessment by a specialist IT consultant can be a good place to start. They will provide an assessment of the state of your current IT and associated services and highlight areas where you are vulnerable and improvements can be made.
Security awareness programmes can play an important part in highlighting the challenges from the online world. All employees should be made aware of the risks and the policies that should be followed as every person who uses email is subject to the same risks. Securing emails with encryption can also prevent them being intercepted by fraudsters.
Protecting our cyber health requires the same attention as our physical health – prevention is always better than cure.
There are many Cyber Liability solutions available in the market for businesses of all sizes that want to protect against the emerging threats of the digital age. Businesses can select cover options that reflect their specific risks such as:
- Cyber Extortion – Covers losses resulting from an extortion threat including ransoms to end extortion as well as fees incurred from specialist cyber extortion advisers.
- First responses – Provides emergency access to a legal response adviser & IT specialist to deliver critical support and a co-ordinated response when a cyber security breach is suspected.
- Event Management Costs – Pays for legal, IT & PR services to get the business back on track.
- Data Protection & Cyber Liability – Responds to third party liability claims arising from a failure in network security.
- Computer Crime – Covers direct financial loss from fraudulent electronic fund transfers arising from a cyber-security breach.
No two businesses are the same when it comes to cyber risks, therefore it is key to understand the risks your business faces to ensure the cover is tailored to address such cyber threats.
Selecting the right policy for your business can be a complex exercise. If you need any support or advice or wish to obtain a quotation for Cyber Liability Insurance please contact Gordon Cameron on 0141 354 2890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org