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Brokers must be vigilant on client cyber-security

by: Geoff Hall, managing director at Berkeley Alexander
  • 29/09/2017
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Brokers must be vigilant on client cyber-security
The surge in cyber-attacks on SMEs means brokers have a vital role to play in keeping British businesses protected.

In May, the UK suffered the biggest ransomware attack in our history. This global cyber-attack left the National Health Service in chaos after hackers infiltrated its somewhat antiquated computer systems.

An attack of this nature not only draws the headlines, but brings into stark relief the risks and exposures every business in the UK, and indeed the world, now faces.

Reports by internet service providers suggest that cyber-attacks on British businesses reached an astonishing 1,000 per day in 2016. The figures are backed up by leading insurers including Towergate whose investigations found 76% of small businesses have suffered a data breach or denial of service attack in the last year.

However astonishingly according to RSA only 9% of UK SMEs have insurance in place to protect from a cyber threat, a risky attitude in an environment where SMEs are increasingly targeted by cyber criminals.

That is because, like the NHS, they are less likely to have adequate cyber security measures in place, despite the fact that having the right IT platform and protections are vital to growth and success.


Simple measures

There are some simple measures all SMEs can take such as keeping software updated, improving password security, being vigilant with email, installing antivirus software and training employees on cyber threats and how to detect them.

But should the worst happen, having the right cyber insurance in place is vital for covering financial loss, physical damage, loss of data, business interruption and longer term reputational damage, litigation costs etc.

Not all cyber policies are equal however, so as a broker you have an important role to play in helping your SME customers find the best product to meet their individual needs and at a price that is not prohibitive.

As a trusted adviser you can deliver added value by raising awareness of the risks they face, and providing impartial, objective advice on the policies that best address individual risk profile.

Smaller doesn’t mean safer; cyber-attacks are a reality that all SME’s now have to face. But smaller can mean smarter with your help. Speak to your SME clients and help them to protect themselves.

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