Despite a number of high profile cases this year, UK-based small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) lack insurance that would safeguard their ventures from cyber-crime.

Cost of cyber-crime

The advent of digital technologies has made it essential that businesses safeguard the consumer information they store online, especially in light of the number of high-profile instances of cyber-breaches in 2015 such as the recent JD Wetherspoon hack. Hackers stole the personal information of 656,723 of the pub chain’s consumers’, including in some cases credit or debit card details, potentially putting these customers’ finances at risk.

Figures from global professional services firm Price Waterhouse Coopers, suggest that cyber-crime is becoming a significant issue for SMEs. Their recent survey, commissioned by the department of business, innovation and skills, shows that the average cost of a hack for smaller companies is between £65,000 and £115,000. Furthermore, some SMEs could be hacked up to six times per year.

Lack of insurance

SMEs can purchase insurance which protects them from the consequences of cyber-crime, however, new research from Aon Risk Solutions, a global provider of insurance services, which questioned 1,042 decision makers from Britain’s SME community indicated that only 4% have insurance cover to safeguard themselves from the consequences of cyber-attacks.

This is just a 1% rise from spring 2015, when only 3% had insurance to protect their enterprises from cyber-crime. Meanwhile, 5% of small business questioned admitted that they didn’t have insurance to cover their operations in crisis situations, including ransom, terrorism and product contamination.

Significant risk

Commenting on the results of the survey, Chris Lee-Smith, managing director of Aon Affinity, the section of the company which specialises in developing customised insurance plans, said: “Cybercrime is a significant risk and security concerns should be top of mind for any business. Our research suggests that whilst general economic confidence in the SME sector is improving, many are over-looking the need to protect their business from very real risks that could derail growth plans.”

Cyber-crime has become a significant risk that small to medium sized enterprises can no longer ignore. You may want to ensure that your company invests in measures to protect your customers’ information. Also, you should purchase insurance to shield your business from the implications of a hack, if you’re targeted by cyber-criminals online.


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