Insurance · 1 December 2015

Increasing cyber crime sees more SMEs sign up to cyber insurance

Increasing numbers of small businesses are adopting cyber insurance to protect themselves against attacks online

With the number of online cyber attacks on businesses rising, small business owners are increasingly looking to protect themselves by signing up to cyber attack insurance.

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that between May and August 2015, over 2.5m cases of cyber-crime were experienced by UK businesses. Following the recent cyber attack on telecoms multinational TalkTalk, online-based insurer Quote Dave has witnessed a surge in companies, particularly SMEs, looking for protection online.

“We anticipate the demand from SME owners only increasing over the coming months, particularly if there are one or two high profile cyber attacks on smaller firms,” Quote Dave director Stuart Bennet said. “In time, cyber policies will be part and parcel of business insurance just as fire and theft insurance are commonplace.”

“SMEs are just as vulnerable to attack as a TalkTalk,” Bennet added. “Younger people are computer savvy and all it takes is a disgruntled customer who feels so let down that they wish to damage your business or someone with malicious intent and you couls have a problem on your hands. Ten years ago it might have been a brick through your window but now it can be a lot more serious.”

In October, TalkTalk’s website was reportedly subject to a “significant and sustained attack” leading to fears that millions of customers may have had their bank details stolen. It was later understood the attack led to hackers gaining access to around 21000 sets of bank details.

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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