SMEs at high risk of cyber crime

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Says small business insurer

Around one in 10 small businesses in the UK have fallen victim to a data hack a report has found.

In its survey, Hiscox also found that 90 percent of such businesses don’t have a cyber crime insurance policy in place to protect them against the financial, business interruption and legal costs they would incur should they be struck by cyber crime.

The specialist small business insurer found that while 41 percent of SME owners are concerned about their computer systems being hacked, only 25 percent were very confident about the security measures their company has in place to protect against these risks.

It also found that small business owners were more concerned about risks relating to cyber crime, with 39 percent said this included being hacked and 36 percent said they feared becoming victims of phishing. This was rather than fears that physical items  such as laptops, and customer paperwork being stolen from the office.

Alan Thomas, Hiscox SME insurance expert, said: “Cyber crime is costing the UK economy around £11 billion a year and while the media is reporting a growing number of high profile data breaches, some small businesses may also be a popular target for hackers because the systems are usually easier to get into and the breach may not be found out for a good few weeks.

“We know that cyber crime insurance policies might be the last thing on an entrepreneurs’ mind when they are trying to drive their business forward on a day to day basis, but it is worrying that over one in ten of these businesses don’t know what security measures they have in place and if they are protected from online crime.”

He added that it was  increasingly important for small companies to evaluate all the risks their businesses face, both online and offline, and include their IT security and protection requirements in the overall contingency strategy.

Hiscox also advised SMEs to keep themselves safe by protecting information with an internal ‘need-to-know’ policy.

It said if storing information on a central file server, managing who has access to these files could help prevent accidental or deliberate data loss.


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