Cyber Security Awareness Month Review: Keeping cyber perils at the forefront of your mind all year round
Cyber Security Awareness Month may now be over, but if there is one key message to take forward, it is that cyber security awareness is not just for October! NMU’s Cyber & Financial Lines Underwriting Manger Matt Drinkwater and BSI Cyber Security and Information Resilience’s Austin France can be heard discussing these in the podcast below:
The Growing Threat
With a great number of businesses working remotely in 2020 – we’ve seen an increase in cases of cyber criminals seeking to infiltrate employees’ private networks and gain back-door access to businesses’ virtual private networks (VPNs) and data. This year, we have also seen an unprecedented rise in ransomware attacks, with attempts on businesses tripling from Q1 to Q2. Alongside this increase, cyber attacks such as phishing also spiked over the months from February to April, as scammers attempted to take advantage of the lower cyber security standards typically in place when working from home. It is reported that three SMEs are being attacked every minute!
Despite the increasing prevalence of cyber attacks and influx of new scams involving emerging tech such as deep fakes, research showed that in 2019, around 90% of cyber claims stemmed from some type of human behaviour, with the findings revealing that human error is actually seven times more likely to cause data breaches than hackers. Taking these factors into account, it’s now more important than ever for businesses to educate employees about common cyber attacks and how to protect against them.
Education Is Key – Cyber Essentials
For businesses that are looking to increase their cyber security know-how, NMU recommend Berea’s Cyber AMI – Cyber Essentials product. This government-backed scheme explains common cyber threats and how to protect against them, and provides organisations with the option to purchase a certification upon completion.
Recognising Cyber Risks
During a recent BSI survey, 8 out of 10 businesses questioned said that cyber security is a high priority for their senior management board. More businesses have also expanded their staff in the last year, with roles relating to information security and governance. This shift indicates a growing acknowledgement of the risks cyber attacks present, although many SMEs are still unaware that cyber security on its own is not enough protection. Unfortunately, all businesses, even those with state-of-the-art cyber security systems, are at risk of a cyber attack; that’s why having proper cover in place that’s fit for purpose is essential.
Considering the increasing number of cyber attacks this year, along with a growing recognition of the importance of cyber security by businesses, it’s vital that brokers understand current cyber risks and the key benefits cyber cover can offer. Our CyberSafe product provides UK SMEs with a simple, robust solution for cyber liabilities, cybercrime and restorative support.
Thanks to Northern Marine Underwriters for this news item.