Half of UK firms lack the correct insurance for cyber security

MoneySuperMarket highlights a lack of awareness among UK organisations around how to insure themselves against cyber attack

Graphic representing security in either data protection or cyber security contexts

Over half of UK organisations wrongly assume their business insurance covers them for cyber attacks at a time when firms are being targetted by an attempted hack every two and a half minutes.

Research by MoneySuperMarket has shone a light on a lax attitude to cyber security insurance, with claims that many companies still identify as being "offline" businesses, despite 98% of private companies and 93% of charities relying on some form of digital communications or service.

Most business insurance policies don't cover cyber security, according to the price comparison platform, with 52% of firms incorrectly assuming their packages protect them in the event of a breach. In most cases, cyber security cover needs additional policies to be taken out.

"With cybercrime threats on the rise, it's crucial to make sure your business has the correct cover," said MoneySuperMarket's insurance expert Rose Howarth. "Most organisations simply take out a policy for common risks such as water leaks, accidental damage and theft."

"Yet cyber-breaches are increasingly common, with over 57,526 happening in the last three months alone, according to government data."

Survey results revealed that 92% of firms use organisational email, 83% rely on a website or blog, and 76% of firms hold an online bank account.

Previously-released government data has also revealed the scale of the cyber threat businesses face, with over four in ten (43%) of the firms questioned in 2018's annual Cyber Security Breaches Survey, experiencing a breach in the previous 12 months.

The annual findings from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) also showed that 68% of Britain's charities spent no money whatsoever on cyber security during the previous financial year and neither did a third of businesses.

"Always remember to double check your policy for cybercrime cover, as standard business insurance often doesn't include it and you must ensure you take out cyber insurance as a separate policy," Howarth continued.

"From small to large enterprises, be sure to shop around for the best business insurance that covers all possible threats to your company, both online and offline."

According to the DCMS findings, meanwhile, 72% of large organisations had sustained an attempted cyber breach within the last 12 months, while the same was true for 64% of medium firms, 47% of small firms and 40% of micro firms.

These breaches were mostly linked to human factors which, according to MoneySuperMarket, highlights the need for increased staff awareness and internal cyber security training.

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