February/March 2020

The importance of Cyber Insurance for small businesses

One of the most worrying aspects of modern-day IT is the concern about cyber security. There are many practices that businesses of all sizes can employ to safeguard their data and minimise the risk of security breaches, however, there is always the worry of a potential issue that can occur regardless of measures put in place. GM Business Connect caught up with Matt Dodd – branch manager of A-Plan Insurance in Altrincham – to find out more about the issues of cyber-crime and the options of safeguarding against business disruption caused by cyber-crime breaches:

Matt Dodd, A-Plan Insurance, Altrincham

How important is cyber insurance compared to normal business insurance?
“Small businesses are nine times more likely to fall victim to cyber-crime than to a ‘real-life’ burglary. That was the finding of YouGov research in 2019, and it should be a wake-up call for all small businesses. The idea of cyber-crime may be relatively new, but that doesn’t mean it’s not now a very real threat that every business, however, large or small, needs to be taking seriously.”

What is cyber-crime?
“Cyber-crime is a blanket term given to numerous kinds of crime taking place via your computer systems or website. It could be a data breach, for example, or your website could be maliciously hacked. Viruses and other types of malware also come under the umbrella of cyber-crime, as does phishing and other kinds of what is known as ‘social engineering’, which describes the way cyber criminals use various forms of online interaction to trick you in to revealing sensitive information such as passwords. Our team at A-Plan in Altrincham can help with any queries businesses may have in relation to their insurance needs, we offer clients peace of mind so they can focus on driving their business forwards.”

Do all businesses need cyber insurance?
“In short, if your business has a website, computer(s), electronic database and/or payment systems, you should consider cyber insurance. That’s because, in the event of an attack, there are financial implications to your business when it comes to getting systems back up and running, putting protection in place to prevent it happening again, and so on.”

Are there different levels and types of insurance cover available?
“Depending on the unique needs of your business, you can get insurance cover for a range of cyber-crime related costs. For instance, if you hold a customer database containing sensitive personal information, you might want to take out cover for GDPR investigations, which you could be subject to if you suffer a data breach. A cyber insurance policy can also include business interruption insurance, designed to cover the costs of keeping your business afloat when you’re not able to continue operating as normal. With 1 in 3 small businesses having experienced cyber-crime, cyber insurance provides peace of mind that your business can keep going should you fall victim to this relatively new form of crime.”

How does a small business decide what sort of cover is needed?
“Your policy should take into account the ways in which your business may be vulnerable to cyber threats, and some providers will ask you for a ‘cyber profile’ outlining the risks and potential expenses that could be incurred should you experience cyber-crime. Here at A-Plan, our qualified staff are very happy to discuss the way in which your business operates in order to suggest exactly the right policies and levels of insurance you would need to secure the continuing profitability of your business if subjected to a cyber intrusion. It’s also important to make sure that you don’t see cyber insurance as an alternative to putting in place adequate cyber security, such as anti-virus software. It’s there to cover you if the worst happens, but as with any kind of insurance, the hope is always that you won’t ever need to make a claim!”

Contact one of A-Plan’s qualified business insurance experts today for more information or a quotation. A-Plan’s latest branch has recently opened at 52 Stamford New Road, Altrincham. The team can be contacted on 0161 341 2133 or visit www.aplan.co.uk/altrincham