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Cyber Criminals – a breed on the increase

Cyber criminals are increasingly targeting companies. More than 800 security breaches were reported to the Information Commissioner's Office in just over two years – with over 260 a result of theft where personal information was held on an unencrypted portable device. There is a moral to this.

As of 6 April 2010, UK businesses can be fined up to £500,000 as a penalty for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act. It was hoped that this would encourage organisations to better protect sensitive data. It may have had an impact at the time, but the threat seems to have lost impetus, at a time when cyber criminals are even more active. With many organisations vulnerable to on line fraud, it pays to minimise the risk of data theft. Specialist insurance solutions are also available to protect companies against the fallout of cyber attack.

Cyber criminals are highly organised – one company which was closed down in the Ukraine certainly resembled a bona-fide business: it occupied three floors, had a reception, HR department and a dedicated call centre! The hundreds of hackers employed by this company were in the main students, who were paid large bonuses to design viruses used to infect computer networks around the world. The legitimate side of the business then contacted all the people they knew they had infected with the virus and provided a solution. This demonstrates that cyber crime is highly organised and should be viewed as a serious threat by all businesses – and, like all threats, businesses need to take action to prevent the worst happening.

Other than serial financial loss, businesses run the threat of losing credibility and damaging their reputation: reputational damage following a data leak can severely damage any business. With the massive growth in the internet as a marketing and direct sales tool, there are few businesses which do not rely on technology as a main stay of their business.

This then brings us to the matter of insurance. Should a cyber attack occur, you could be facing loss of revenue and/or business interruption – which businesses should insure against as a matter of course. If businesses are well run and their practices are tight, considering the specific threat from cyber attack should be considered alongside all other forms of insurance. Therefore, it is worth speaking with a professional advisor with regards to the possible impact on your business should you become a victim of the technologic scams and crime. Westhill Insurance Services has a team of professional and dedicated staff who can advise on all aspects of business insurance – be it building, public liability, stock, vehicle – indeed any insurance which your business requires. Talk to them and put your mind at rest, they will give you sensible and cost effective advice which will allow you to know your businesses is protected: peace of mind is a valuable business asset too.

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 6th February, 2012