- Because Cyber-criminals are devious
- Because Cyber-attacks are extremely costly
- Because preventing Cybercrime is essential
Cybercrime proves to be difficult to protect against and as it continues to increase in scale and intricacy, essential services, commercial business, and private individuals can all be affected. Cyber-attacks become more frequent which means organisations must re-think their risk strategies to protect themselves and the people who depend on them
This article aims to educate on the ever-growing problem that is cybercrime and features some tips on improving your own cyber-security which will decreases the risk of becoming victim to cyber criminals.
Cybercrime and Cyber insurance
The definition of cybercrime is criminal activities carried out by means of computers or the internet. Cyber criminals seek to exploit human or online security vulnerabilities to steal passwords, data or money directly.
The most common cyber threats include, but are not limited to:
- Hacking - including of social media and email passwords
- Phishing - fake emails asking for security information and personal details
- Malicious software - including ransomware (explained later in the article)
- Distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks against websites – often followed by extortion
Cyber insurance covers the losses relating to damage to, or loss of information from, IT systems and networks. In today’s age, where everything is done online and using the internet, cyber criminals have millions of potential victims to target, so ensuring your cyber space is secure is essential in preventing attacks.
Data theft is extremely enticing to hackers because of the high monetary value placed on data security and the potential consequences that a leak could cause. Ransomware is a type of malware where files are hacked and accessed with the user being threatened with their publishing unless a ransom fee is paid out. It is a favoured method of attack for cyber criminals with the UK being the place with the highest detections in Europe in 2019.
Cybercrime costs the UK billions of pounds a year according to The National Crime Agency (NCA) who suggest that it has seen significant growth, as well as damage and threat to national security. This type of criminal is setting targets on high-net-worth individuals as an easier alternative to attack, over businesses and services.
With cybercrime posing a significant, daily threat to high-net-worth individuals, there is an increased need to focus on protecting virtual assets. The growing refinement of cybercrime threatens everyone, but high-net-worth individuals are a particularly attractive and achievable target for cyber criminals.
Attack on Business
When under a cyber-attack, business continuity is key and it is essential that every business, large or small, has a plan put in place in case a cybercrime case results in business interruption. In smaller companies, an estimated 60% closed within six months of being victimised by a cyber-attack or data breach. This shows organisations need to ensure plans for prevention but also procedures for the worst-case scenario.
It is also important to remember that, even with the tightest of defences, a single person clicking on a link, downloading a file, or accepting a transfer from an unusual place could result in an attack. This means staff need to be trained and tested to keep awareness high.
Tips for improving Cyber-Security
- Anti-virus protection – software that protects your computer from viruses
- Avoid phishing by thinking before you open an email – If it looks dodgy there’s a chance it probably is!
- Avoid oversharing on social media platforms. Be careful what you post as any information you make public could be read by the wrong eyes and used to access your private accounts.
- Keep up to date - Make sure you regularly update devices, browsers, extensions, operating systems, and mobile apps.
- External checks - Having external checks and tests on internal systems can identify weak spots and potential areas of vulnerability
- Talk to an expert – if you are worried or unsure, or simply want to talk to someone about it, do not be afraid to get in touch with an expert in Cyber security. And if you need an insurance expert, contact us here at R.T. Williams.
For advice on cyber insurance
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